Confident Workers

Should I Settle via Stipulated Award?

Workers' Compensation is of utmost importance to you as an injured worker, as it provides crucial financial and medical assistance in the event of work-related injuries or illnesses.

When it comes to settling a Workers' Comp case, there are two primary types of settlements: Stipulated Award and Compromise and Release. The choice between them depends on various factors, making it essential to have a basic understanding of each type to make an informed decision.

Let's focus on Stipulated Award settlements. In this article, we will explain what they entail and how they differ from Compromise and Release settlements.

Understanding Stipulated Award Settlements

A Stipulated Award (or Stips) settlement involves an agreement between the parties on specific aspects of the case, including:

  • The value of permanent disability associated with specific body parts.
  • Coverage of future medical awards for designated body parts.

If you opt for a Stipulated Award settlement, Workers' Compensation will cover the future medical care you require for your injury recovery. This coverage continues as long as the case is open and is based on medical opinions regarding treatment associated with your injury. In simple terms, the nature and extent of your injury determine the payment value.

Payment Structure

With a Stipulated Award settlement, payments are disbursed over time. The maximum weekly Permanent Disability rate is $290, meaning you will receive $580 biweekly until the full amount is paid out.

Occasionally, settled cases involve accrued benefits, which require Permanent Disability payments to be spread throughout the case duration due to legal or medical disputes. In such cases, a lump-sum payment covers the retroactive period, followed by biweekly payments.

Reopening Your Case

In a Stipulated Award settlement, you have the option to reopen your case for new and further disability. For instance, if your condition worsens or you develop a different Permanent Disability after settlement, you can assert that there is a need to account for this change.

However, it's important to note that you have a limited time frame, known as the statute of limitations, which allows five years from the date of your injury to reopen your case.

Contrasting Compromise and Release Settlements

It is essential to understand the differences between Stipulated Award and Compromise and Release settlements to make an informed choice:

  • In a Compromise and Release settlement, agreeing to Permanent Disability ratings or identifying specific injured body parts is not necessary, unlike in a Stipulated Award settlement.
  • Unlike a lump-sum payment in a Compromise and Release settlement, Stipulated Award settlements involve regular biweekly payments.
  • Reopening your case for new and further disability is not possible in a Compromise and Release settlement, which is an option available with Stipulated Award settlements.


In conclusion, understanding the different settlement options available in Workers' Compensation cases is crucial. Stipulated Awards entail an agreement on Permanent Disability ratings and future medical care, with the possibility of reopening your case for new and further disability within specific time limits.

Regardless of your chosen settlement, it is always advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in Workers' Compensation to comprehend your rights and explore the available options.

If you need assistance in selecting a settlement, reach out to Pacific Workers', The Lawyers for Injured Workers, for a free and confidential case evaluation. Contact us at 800-606-6999 or schedule an appointment through our website.