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Workers' Compensation Settlements

Your workers' compensation benefits may take several forms, depending upon the state where you live. Here are a few of the most common types of settlements. Costs of medical care will be paid for and that includes the services of doctors, hospitals, nurses, physical therapists, dentists, chiropractors, and the use of prosthetic devices.

Temporary disability payments are tax-free and substitute for the income you would have earned had you not been injured. If your injury prevents you from returning to your job, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. If you have a partial or complete disability, you may receive a lump sum payment in workers' compensation benefits. These payments will vary greatly with the nature and extent of your injury. And weekly compensation benefits will be paid to the surviving dependents of workers who are killed in the course of employment or as the result of a work-related injury or occupational disease.

The law provides for the following four types of settlements, which must be approved by the Workers' Compensation Commissioner:

Agreement for Settlement
The parties may enter into an agreement as to the amount and extent of compensation payment due and file it with the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. The approval of the agreement for settlement does not end the employee's future rights.

Compromise Settlement
When there is a dispute as to whether or not the employee is entitled to benefits, a compromise settlement may be filed with the Workers' Compensation Commissioner. Approval of a compromise settlement ends the employee's future rights to any benefits for the settled injury.

Lump Sum Payments
In Iowa, lump sum payments are the exception and not the rule. The law does, however, provide for two types of lump sum payments in the form of commutations, if approved by the Workers' Compensation Commissioner.

Commutation
A commutation is a lump sum payment of future benefits. In order for a commutation to be approved by the Workers' Compensation Commissioner, it must be shown that the employee has a specific need and that the lump sum is in the employee's best interest. There are several other filing requirements that must be met before a commutation will be approved. When commuting benefits, the employer is entitled to a discount on the benefits commuted. There are two types of commutations:

Full Commutation
A full commutation is a lump sum payment of all remaining future benefits. When approved, a full commutation ends all of the employee's future rights to any additional benefits, including medical benefits.

Partial Commutation
A partial commutation is a lump sum payment of a portion of the remaining future benefits. When approved, a partial commutation establishes the employee's entitlement to disability benefits, but it does not end the employee's future rights.

YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO MONETARY COMPENSATION.

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