This is the final article in a series of blog posts on settlement of a Georgia Workers’ Compensation claim. The previous articles in this series have discussed what settlement is, when you should consider settlement, and some basic factors to consider when considering settlement. This article will discuss additional factors to consider when considering settlement including long term disability benefits, Social Security Disability benefits, and Medicare eligibility.
Long Term Disability and Settlement
You receive workers’ compensation indemnity benefits (temporary total disability or temporary partial disability) when you are injured at work and lose wages because of your injury. Some people who are injured at work have also purchased long term disability insurance policies that also provide them with disability benefits when they are injured. The benefits provide by long term disability insurance are defined by the insurance policy.
More often than not, there is an interaction between workers’ compensation benefits and long term disability benefits. That interaction usually means that one of these two benefits will be reduced. While each long term disability insurance policy is different, settlement of a workers’ compensation claim can change the interaction between workers’ compensation benefits and long term disability benefits. So, it is very important to consider how settlement of your workers’ compensation claim would affect any benefits that you may be receiving from long term disability. This will require a careful review of your long term disability insurance policy because each long term disability policy is different. An attorney can be helpful in conducting this review.
Social Security Disability and Settlement
Social Security Disability is another benefit that can be affected by Georgia workers’ compensation benefits or settlement of a workers’ compensation case. Individuals become eligible for Social Security Disability benefits by filing a claim with the Social Security Administration. When an injured worker receiving workers’ compensation benefits also qualifies for Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Disability benefits are sometimes reduced because the injured worker is also receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Sometimes, these reduced Social Security Disability benefits will increase after the injured worker settles his or her workers’ compensation case.
Medicare and Settlement
One final factor to consider in settlement is somewhat connected to Social Security Disability benefits. This factor is Medicare eligibility. An individual usually becomes eligible for Medicare at age 65 or thirty months after the date of disability as determined by the Social Security Administration for Social Security Disability purposes. Medicare eligibility or even an expectation of Medicare eligibility is important when considering settlement of a workers’ compensation claim. The reason it is important is that Medicare requires injured workers, employers, and insurance companies to consider Medicare’s interests when settling a claim. What this really means is that Medicare does not want to end up paying for medical treatment that should have been paid for by the workers’ compensation insurance company. For an injured worker considering settlement, this means that extra care must be taken when the injured worker is Medicare eligible or will soon be. It also means that money may need to be “set aside” from any settlement to pay for possible future medical treatment.
There are many factors to consider when deciding if, and when, to settle your workers’ compensation claim. This blog series has attempted to address a few of the more important factors. These factors can make settlement very complex. If you have additional questions about settlement or any issue involving a Georgia workers’ compensation case, please feel free to get a free consultation with one of our attorneys by calling the phone number at the upper right or completing the “Need Help” form on the right of this page.