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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    36

    Default SSD and Settling a Workers Comp Claim

    Help me understand this letter i got from my lawyer. It states that the insurance company has inquired to whether i would be interested in a settlement of my claim.

    He also states in the letter a number has not been discussed from them but, He gives me a figure that he thinks they will offer ? ( Or what he wants ? )

    Also states that if i dont settle, the carrier will bring me to a judge and seek to drop my payment rate a lot lower to an "exact dollar amount" ( He shows the amount in the letter )


    Feels to me he is trying to force my hand ?

    P.S. I just got approved for SSDI a few weeks ago, Does this have anything to do with it. ( I had a Different Lawyer for this )

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    alabama
    Posts
    96

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    how long did it take to get approved for SSDI,and yea you have to watch them lawyers they want to get er done

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    It took about 18 months but i got approved without seeing a judge, so it would have been a lot longer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,109

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    he's on "his" side.
    generally attorney fees are tied to settlement.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,169

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    If your WC attorney thinks that by settling your claim BEFORE you approved for SSDI, that he could escape from the REQUIRED MEDICARE-SET-ASIDE while your SSDI app was pending, but NOW APPROVED, he is sadly mistaken.

    NOW that you ARE approved for SSDI, MEDICARE will determine the ADEQUACY of any monies that the WC Carrier must place in the set-aside. Even though you are not eligible for Medicare at this moment, you WILL BE in approx two years, depending on when you first submitted your application for SSDI. And Medicare will NOT pay for WORK-RELATED INJURIES that have settled, if the settlement occured if (1). Due to your age, you WILL qualify for Medicare within 30 months of settlement (2) You ANTICIPATE filing for SSDI within 30 months (3) You HAVE filed for SSDI (4) You HAVE been approved for SSDI and WILLL be or ARE receiving SSDI benefits.

    Medicare REQUIRES that THEIR interests be considered when settling ANY WC claim (or third-party liability). Medicare is sick and tired of the"cost-shifting" that has occurred when WC and other claims settle that have the POTENTIAL for FUTURE MEDICAL CARE, INCLUDING Prescription Drugs.

    Medicare will want to see the PAST TWO YEARS of your medical treatment for the work injury, PLUS the benefits pay-out for PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.
    Even though an "outside vendor" can "propose" a Medcare set-aside amount, the bottom line is, ONLY MEDICARE can APPROVE the ADEQUACY of the SET-ASIDE.

    AND, when the settlement papers are drawn up, it is VERY IMPORTANT that the lump-sum monies for Permanent Disability benefits be "characterized" and computed into monthy BENEFIT payments over your calculated Life Expectancy, so that SSDI does NOT "off-set" a HUGE "chunk of change" right off the top of your settlement!

    Has your WC attorney even DISCUSSED the POTENTIAL of a Medicare set-aside with you? How about the other attorney who HELPED you get SSDI?

    Your WC attorney needs to be "Educated", as FAILURE to consider Medicare's interests, now that you are approved for SSDI, has many NEGATIVE legal and financial ramifications to ALL parties to the settlement.

    Steel is a "wiz" at these issues, so maybe she will chime in.
    Last edited by Charles Stevens; 08-23-2007 at 08:46 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    1,930

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    Well Charles I appreciate the comments. I believe that today you are the dedicated whiz kid. You have covered all the bases of relevance for Inpain247 where WC and MSA is concerned. No need in me muddying up a perfectly good explanation.

    As for that lawyer of yours Inpain247 sounds like a pure grade number one A$$hole to me. But then who am I . All kidding aside do not let that weasel pressure you into a settlement that is one cent less than you are entitled to per your states WC laws. As Charles stated make sure the language is right for your settlement to avoid loosing a pile of cash from SSDI. The language is usually referred to as the "Utica Mo-haw or Hartman language". As Charles has told you it simply spreads the lump sum over the period of time it is intended to cover instead of showing all that money as income at one time.

    Push come to shove and that attorney of yours gets too snotty it is never too late to discharge him. Might not always be in your best interest to do so at the settlement phase but not altogether unheard of either. You might be able to find a replacement happy to step in at this point as there is much less work to do as far as fighting for benefits etc. Just hammer out a fair and reasonable settlement for you. Share in a piece of the pie with the other attorney and go about their merry way. Of course you would want to have a firm commitment form another attorney to consider discharging your current one. And of course you can always just stand up to the one you have and let them know you aren't into smoke being blown up your butt. Ask your attorney to show you in the WC laws for your state the schedule for PPD injuries. Use your PPD % rate and do the math. That is one part of your settlement. Most states these isn't room for much negotiation for PPD. You most important matter is going to be that MSA Charles told you about. Or open lifetime FM with the with IC. What ever you do don't let this one slip past you. Do not even consider a compromise and release that simply pays you up front for FM. You will end up screwed seven ways to Sunday if that amount is less than say a million or two dollars, which I can assure you it won't be.

    Get on that attorney's butt and let them know you don't intend to be intimidated into a less than fair settlement and you won't allow him to push you into accepting anything less than fully what you are entitled to.

    Have a Good One

    Steel
    "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client"
    Abraham Lincoln


    Take Care and Be Well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    2,169

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    Thank you Steel. As usuasal, you have provided additonal important information like the Utica-Mo-halk/Hartman clause...!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Pa.
    Posts
    929

    Lightbulb Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    Tread lightly with your current Attorney, seems to me he has one Person in mind, "HIM"! Charles and Steel have given you all the info. I could have but just let me add one thing, as I've been at this for going on three Years now, and I've had 10 Hearings. The VERY FIRST TIME My Attorney tries to force my hand or threaten me, it's going to take them a few days to figure out what happened, I'm going to be gone so fast and with the NEW Attorney I have waiting in the wings they won't know what hit them!!! My Family Attorney, who I did not know at the time I hired this Attorney was a whiz at w/c, will take my case with just a Phone Call, Remember they work for you, and don't let the Diplomas hanging on the wall intimidate you. They provide a Service that you Pay Very Well For, and they should be guiding you, not threatening you! Always Remember: "If You don't know your Jewell's, Know Your Jeweler!" My Opinion only, if this persists, look for another Attorney, and do your research before you Hire!! Best of Luck!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    324

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    Quote Quoting .SH View Post
    he's on "his" side.
    generally attorney fees are tied to settlement.

    I think your comment is off and untrue. If the attorney knows for fact that the opposing party's word is true and will drop payment, or thinks that is is a possibility then of course he should disclose this to client. Also if the opposing party in this case is interested in a settlement of the claim, it is the responsibility of the claimant's attorney to inform them of this. And of course you have a social security issue here as well.
    Beth, Legal Assistant
    Wife and Mother of injured workers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Is my lawyer on there side ?

    Thank You all for the help you have provided ! I will be in touch with my lawyer to let him know where i stand.

    I will let you all know what i find out, Thanks

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