If you receive a settlement of your workers’ compensation claim, you may need the money to pay for expenses due to your workplace injury. Employees injured at work end up with a variety of expenses that the workers’ compensation insurance companies do not cover.
How Can You Spend the Settlement Money?
Most settlement agreements do not require that you spend the money on anything in particular. You can use the money to pay for non-medical expenses, such as:
- Mortgage or rent
- Retirement savings
- Utility bills
- Gifts to relatives
- A vacation
However, many people who receive workers’ compensation benefits for a while or who had to contest a benefits denial have some debts. The wage loss benefits are less than your regular earnings from your job. You may have credit card debt or have taken out a second mortgage to make up the difference. If the insurer denied coverage of any medical procedures or treatments, you may have unpaid medical bills due. Fortunately, settlement money can pay off these items.
Usually, the insurance company will try to resolve any outstanding requests for medical treatment as part of the settlement agreement. For instance, if you and the insurer disagree about whether you need back surgery, you might agree that part of the money in the settlement is intended to pay for your planned back surgery. However, unless it specifically says in the Stipulation for Settlement that you must use a certain amount of money for a certain item, you can spend it as you like. (Of course, you may really need to spend the money on back surgery.)
How Much Money Will You Receive?
The Stipulation for Settlement, which is the settlement agreement you sign, specifies how much money you will receive. It probably will list how much money in benefits you have already received and how much additional money you will receive in the settlement.
If you have a workers’ compensation lawyer, part of your settlement will pay your lawyer. Refer to your agreement with your lawyer to figure out how much you will receive after attorneys’ fees are deducted.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.