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Know the facts about settling a workers’ compensation claim

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

For New York City workers who are injured on the job and seek workers’ compensation benefits, it is an undeniable relief when they are approved. Still, getting weekly benefits might not be the best long-term option and settling the case could be wiser. Those who are considering the benefits and drawbacks of a lump sum settlement must know the facts before moving forward.

A Section 32 Waiver Agreement settles a workers’ compensation case

When a person negotiates a settlement of their workers’ compensation claim, it is called a Section 32 Waiver Agreement. This ends a workers’ compensation claim via a lump sum being paid out immediately. It replaces the ongoing payments an injured worker might be getting. They can also receive it as an annuity.

Since it is a negotiation, the worker should be fully aware of what it entails. There are options within the agreement such as settling the payments that were being made for lost wages while maintaining the medical benefits. Both can be settled simultaneously. The Workers’ Compensation Board will be presented with the agreement to approve it before it can proceed. The Board simply ensures that the agreement is legal. It will not intervene about its terms.

The terms of the agreement and a person’s situation will dictate whether a Section 32 agreement is a good idea. For example, settling the claim could be better financially than waiting for the weekly payments. The disability, the injured worker’s prognosis, the likelihood of needing extensive medical care and the possibility of being able to work in another job are all factors to consider.

The medical expenses are a common obstacle as settling the claim and ending medical care means that the person is responsible for their own treatment should they need it. That can be costly and lead to financial challenges.

Understand all parts of a workers’ compensation claim

As with any aspect of a workers’ compensation claim, deciding whether to settle it after benefits have been approved is a serious decision that can have short and long-term ramifications. For some, it is a mistake. For others, it is a beneficial step. Knowing the details of a settlement and what it means is essential from the start and helps with making an informed decision.