Workers' Compensation is significant for you as a worker, as it provides financial and medical assistance when you get injured or become ill from your job.
When it comes to settling a Workers' Comp case, there are two main types of settlements: Stipulated Award and Compromise and Release.
Which one is the best for you? Well, it depends on many factors, so that is why knowing the basics of each one will help you find the right answer.
Now it is the turn to talk about Stipulated Award settlements. In this article, we will explain what it is and its differences from a Compromise and Release settlement.
1. What is a Stipulated Award Settlement?
A Stipulated Award (or Stips) is a settlement where the parties agree to certain topics regarding the case:
- A specific value of the permanent disability associated with particular body parts
- Which body parts are covered by a future medical award
If you choose this settlement, Workers’ Compensation pays for the future medical care you need for your injury recovery. This payment is indefinite while the case is still on.
Besides, it depends on the doctors’ opinion regarding medical treatment associated with the injury. In simpler words, the kind of injury you suffered, and the specific value obtained will determine the payment.
2. How are payments made?
In a Stipulated Award settlement, you get your payments over time. The maximum Permanent Disability rate is $290 per week. Besides, you would receive these payments every other week ($580) until the amount is paid out in full.
Sometimes there are accrued benefits in settled cases where the Permanent Disability should be paid throughout the case, but not due to some legal or medical dispute.
After the settlement, there is a large amount owed considered retroactive to cover that period. That amount will be paid in a lump sum, but after that, you would receive your payments every other week.
3. Can you reopen your case with a Stipulated Award settlement?
Another aspect to consider is that, in a Stipulated Award settlement, you can also open your case for new and further disability.
For example, when settling your case, you had X percentage of Permanent Disability. But your condition may worsen, so you then develop Y Permanent Disability. It is even possible you acquire a new and different Permanent Disability.
In that case, you can reopen your claim and allege that there is a new and further disability that needs to be accounted for. Of course, you're limited by the statute of limitations, which means you have five years from your date of injury to do this.
4. How Is This Different from Compromise and Release Settlement?
You can find some differences between the two types of settlements. These will help you decide which one is the option that suits you best.
- In a Compromise and Release settlement, you don't necessarily need to agree to Permanent Disability ratings or which body parts are injured. On the contrary, that is a must if you choose a Stipulated Award settlement.
- Unlike a Compromise and Release settlement, in a Stipulated Award settlement, you don't get a lump sum but payments every other week.
- In a Compromise and Release settlement, you can't reopen your case for new and further disability, unlike a Stipulated Award settlement.
In relation to settling a Workers' Compensation case, it is essential to understand the different types of settlements available to you and their particularities.
Stipulated Awards are settlements where both parties agree on a Permanent Disability Rating and future medical care.
It is crucial to keep in mind that in this settlement, you can open your case for new and further disability, but you have a tight and very specific deadline.
This one can be the alternative you are looking for. Either way, it's always best to consult with an attorney to understand your rights and options.
Need help choosing a settlement? Contact Pacific Workers’, The Lawyers for Injured Workers for a free, confidential case evaluation. Call us at 800-606-6999 or make an appointment here.