Once you have completed the workers’ compensation process for your work-related injury or illness, you will need to understand the full amount of money you will receive from your settlement or award. Here are some common items that may be deducted:
If your settlement or award includes any medical bills that your employer’s insurer has not paid -- either because they denied the claim or refused to pay for a procedure -- these may be deducted from your settlement or award. Some healthcare providers will file a doctor’s lien for unpaid bills, which means these bills can be deducted from your workers’ comp settlement or award. If you have an attorney helping you with your claim, they may be able to negotiate a reduction.
If you have received any advance payments prior to a final settlement or award -- include any wages or salary paid following your work-related injury or temporary total disability advances -- these may be deducted from your final settlement or award. In addition, if you have received any unemployment compensation because your workers’ comp claim has been denied, you will need to reimburse the state for these payments.
Medicare repayments and set-asides.
If you’ve had medical bills that were paid by Medicare or Medicaid because your employer’s insurance company did not pay them, those payments will need to be repaid from your settlement or award. In addition, if your settlement or award includes payments for future medical expenses, a portion of those funds will need to be put into a Medicare Set-Aside account to pay for future medical services related to your injury or illness. Your attorney will be able to help you navigate this complex process.
Attorneys’ fees and costs.
In Oklahoma, a maximum of 10% of any award for contested temporary disability, and 20% of any award for permanent disability or for a contested death case is permitted as an attorney fee. All attorney fees are subject to court approval. In addition to the attorney fee, you will be responsible for expenses in preparing your case for settlement or trial.
Workers’ compensation benefits are not typically taxed by the state or federal government unless you have received interest on benefits that were overdue as part of your final settlement or award. If you receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and, when combined, those benefits exceed 80% of your average earnings prior to your disability, your SSDI payments may be reduced when taking into account your workers’ comp benefits. This offset is taxable income.
Have you been injured at work? If so, seek legal representation from the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our attorneys understand how work injuries can impact your life, which is why we will work tirelessly to ensure you are fully compensated through the workers’ compensation system. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.