If you are also one of the users affected by the Equifax Data Breach, then you can now rejoice as the firm is providing a $700M settlement for the case. Also, they are giving choices to the consumers to claim their share of the settlement.
So, here’s how you should navigate the offer of settlement.
$125 or Free Monitoring?
Once the claims process begins, if you were affected by the #Equifax breach, you can request:
Free credit monitoring and ID theft protection services. Up to 10 yrs of free credit monitoring OR $125 if you decide not to enroll b/c you already have credit monitoring.
— FTC (@FTC) July 22, 2019
As a part of the offer, the consumer can either opt to claim $125 or free monitoring services. So, you are getting a choice between a $125 claim, out of which you might receive even less amount. And a guaranteed free credit monitoring of minimum amount. This monitoring service is for four years, which covers three bureaus, namely, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
And what makes this a great deal is that the Experian’s lowest monitoring costs $19.99 per month. And once you are done with three-bureau tracking, you can even choose to have six-year monitoring from Equifax.
Thus, it is your take, what you find a better choice.
When will you get a maximum of $125?
— FTC (@FTC) July 25, 2019
For the applicants to get a full $125, there are some conditions that the settlement states. This type of claims should not exceed 248,000 out of the 147 million people that are affected by the breach. If the number rises, the consumers won’t get a complete $125.
How to claim cash?
— jamesvgingerich (@jamesvgingerich) July 25, 2019
Equifax also has an option for those who want cash as a part of their claim. But to opt for this, you should have an existing monitoring plan and should keep it for six months. This way, you can choose to get cash as your part of the claim. You can get a prepaid card or check your share of the reimbursement.
But for this, you have to make sure that you have not got any previous claims for the losses suffered due to the breach — the terms of the settlement state that each consumer will get a part of $31 million pool. Thus, if the claims are enough to fulfil using this pool, each consumer will get a proportionate amount of it.
How to Get your Claims Processed?
You can also file a claim for the number of hours that you suffered due to the breach. For the hours that you experienced while dealing with the fraud, you can get $25 per hour for up to 20 hours. And, the time that you spent in freezing your credit and identifying the theft protection too has a claim for up to 10 hours.
Here, what matters the most is you should be truthful about the number of hours you spent. The firm has kept a $31 million bucket exclusively for such claims too.
Equifax Data Breach Claims for Out-of-Pocket Costs
For such requests, you’ll have to provide the correct documentation. These documents should show the extra expenses that you suffered during the data breach. For this, the limit is $20,000 per person. The settlement administrator will validate such claims.
What if there are Breach Losses later?
There’s also an extended pool of amount for the people who suffer breach losses after the first deadline. You’ll have to make sure that you have not received any reimbursements till now.
And, you should make sure to file the claim by 22 Jan 2020. Your requests will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The firm ensures the consumers that all the claims will be provided within the period of the deadline that is 22 January. These claims will begin to be provided once the court finalizes the settlement statement on 19th December.
For now, to keep yourself protected, you should freeze your credit. Freezing will ensure that no thieves attack your account.
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