Before you begin spending the extra money in your head, determine whether or not you are one of the estimated 147 million Americans entitled to a portion of almost $425 million in compensation stemming from Equifax’s huge 2017 data breach.
The credit reporting firm this week agreed to pay $700 million for claims tied to the hack, which occurred after Equifax botched software update, and up to $425 million of the entire can be claimed instantly by consumers.
The figuring out part is pretty easy. All you need to do is enter your last name and last six digits of your Social Security number in a website operated by the settlement administrator (not Equifax). If instructed your personal information was affected by the data theft, then you may file a claim.
Consumers impacted by the data breach are entitled to as much as 10 years of free monitoring of their credit reports. You may as well sign up for at least four years of monitoring services provided by Experian without charge, or if you already have credit monitoring going, you may file to be compensated for as much as $125 in cash.
Individuals who have been harmed within the cybertheft may also claim as much as $20,000 in cash reimbursement for expenses associated with the breach. These include charges to freeze or unfreeze credit reports, in addition to for credit-monitoring services; losses from unauthorized charges to accounts; and any payments to lawyers and or accountants.
You can also make a claim for up to 20 hours of time spent dealing with the breach. The good news right here is that backing documents aren’t required, and you can see compensation for time you spend trying to recover from identity theft (or avoid it within the first place) of $25 an hour (up to a maximum of 10 hours — more than that and you have to documents backing up your additional time spent).