Workers' Compensation And A Section 32 Agreement

If you have been injured on your job and you have filed for workers' compensation, you know that the date of your injury, or the date you filed your claim is the date that your claim was opened. But what constitutes the end of your case? Under what circumstances can your case be closed? One of the times is when your employer offers you a Section 32 agreement. Although this agreement may put money in your pocket, you may not pocket as much as you think. 

What Is A Section 32 Agreement?

If you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), your employer or their workers' compensation insurer may offer you a one time lump-sum payment. Depending on how your contract is written, your payment may cover a couple of options.

Option 1: The payment will cover your lost wages, but it will leave the medical component of your claim open. This means that your employer will no longer send you a weekly benefit but they will remain responsible for covering your medical and prescription costs that pertain to your injury.

Option 2: The payment will be inclusive of both your lost wages, as well as any future medical expenses. If you agree to take this lump-sum, your employer will no longer be responsible for paying your weekly benefits or covering any of your medical expenses. 

What Is A Workers' Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement?

Be aware that if you are offered and accept option 2, you may not receive the full amount that the court has approved. You may be required to place a portion of it in a special savings account designed to pay for your future medical care.

This will happen if you have already qualified for Medicare or you will soon be eligible for this benefit because you have been approved for Social Security disability. This happens because you are not able to transfer the responsibility for your medical care directly from the workers' compensation system to the Medicare system. Because of this, the court may require that you set the portion of your proceeds designated to pay for your medical care into a Medicare Set Aside (MSA) account. This is referred to as a Workers' Compensation Medicare Set-Aside Arrangement (WCMSA). 

Never settle your workers' compensation care without first consulting an attorney. They will be able to review your case and give you knowledgeable advice as to whether or not a Section 32 agreement is in your best interest. For more information, contact Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP or a similar firm.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!

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