BP begins doling out medical claims for Gulf oil spill

July 1, 2014, 11:37 PM UTC
NBC News - Gulf Oil Spill
NBC NEWS -- Pictured: The Q4000 burning off oil and gas at the site of the oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform. An estimated 8000 barrels burned every 24 hours (Photo by Kerry Sanders/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Photograph by Kerry Sanders — NBC/NBCU Photo Bank / Getty Images

BP has started paying medical claims to victims of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after a year of delays.

BP confirmed that the number of claims paid so far is approximately 100, just a sliver of the 10,000 total that need to be paid out. About 700 other cases are ready for payment, but still need to be cleared.

The payments, which cover treatment for respiratory and skin ailments associated with the spill, are expected to start ramping up in the next few months, Matt Garretson, the administrator with Garretson Resolution Group who is processing the claims on behalf of BP, told WWL-TV in New Orleans. He did not immediately respond to a request by Fortune for comment.

With all the appeals related to the medical claims resolved earlier this year, Garreston has started processing the claims by clean-up workers and residents living in the area affected by the spill, according to a BP statement to Fortune.

The payments range from $900 to over $60,000, according to the WWL-TV report. Over 2,600 claims have been rejected.

Additionally, the settlement provides $105 million to fund the Gulf Region Health Outreach Program, “which consists of projects designed to strengthen the healthcare system in the Gulf Coast region,” according to BP.

BP has already paid billions of dollars to compensate for economic damage in the Gulf region and to underwrite the cost of cleaning up the spill. At the end of May, BP asked the Supreme Court for more time to pay damage claims to businesses affected by the spill, while also appealing some terms of the settlement. Some of the damages included were “not plausibly caused by the Deepwater Horizon accident,” according to a BP statement at the time. However, that request to the Supreme Court was denied.

The Deepwater Horizon off-shore oil rig exploded and spewed oil across a huge swath of the Gulf including Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. The accident shut down fishing and tourism along with impacting a huge number of other businesses.