Claims Process Speeding Up

New Orleans, La. – Claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg says the flood of checks in recent days is the result of a streamlined process he ordered over the weekend.

Feinberg is in charge of the $20 billion dollar fund the White House negotiated with the oil company.

Since taking over the claim process from BP in August, the fund has paid out more than 42-thousand requests for economic damages.

Some were paid, but other businesses only received a fraction of what they'd requested, while other claims were turned down altogether. Many of those claims are are now being paid.

The money is especially welcome in Louisiana's hard-hit Plaquemines Parish, where coastal waters are still closed to fishing.

Parish President Billy Nungesser credits Feinberg for unclogging the paperwork process.

<<"They are really turning out a lot more answers to the people. I mean, my calls, here have almost completely stopped from the fishermen. They've done that good a job here in the last week or so."

In Alabama, an accountant who works with businesses along the Gulf Coast says the checks sent out in the last few days will help them survive at least through next year.

For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.