Most importantly, claims must be filed within the prescribed time limitations. The claim must be received by the Office of the Administrator within the time limits prescribed. The time limits are two (2) years after the incident, if the incident did in fact cause oil pollution. The time limits are five (5) years after the incident, if the incident did not cause a spill―but that, nevertheless, due to the imminent and serious risk of pollution, caused damages, i.e., costs related to measures undertaken to prevent a spill or to limit the harmful consequences, had such a spill occurred.
The claim must also be adequately documented. Merely sending an invoice to the Fund is not submitting a claim. The claim must contain essential information that will provide the date of the incident, the location of the incident, the source of the incident, the identification of the claimant, the type of damages claimed for and the amount linked to each type of damage, the link between the incident and the damages, the reasonableness of the claim for damages and the corresponding amounts. The Claims Manual provides instructions as to the kind of information required to substantiate the claim.
There is no set « model » for claims. If the claim is not sufficiently documented, the Office of the Administrator will request additional information, which could slow down the assessment process. If the additional information requested is not received, the Administrator will make a decision based on the available information, which could result in a settlement offer that is less than the claimant had hoped for.