Teddy Snyder on Preserving Public Benefits: A Settlement Primer

Teddy Snyder on Preserving Public Benefits: A Settlement Primer

This commentary provides basic information to highlight issues critical to the settlement process.

 A workers' compensation case typically consists of two components: income replacement, sometimes called indemnity, and medical expense coverage. A disabled worker may also be receiving income and medical expense coverage from public benefit sources. Some eligible workers do not receive benefits while their workers' compensation case is pending, but may plan to apply for these benefits post-settlement.

The value of public benefits may outweigh the value of the workers' compensation claim. Public benefits are almost always a valuable supplement that the worker--and the worker's family-- will want to retain. However, if a settlement is improperly formulated, the worker may forfeit those public benefits. This commentary is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather to provide the workers' compensation practitioner with basic information to highlight issues critical to the settlement process. Further research and possible referral to a Social Security specialist may be appropriate in an individual case.

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