The Claimant and the Insurer have the ability to reach an agreement in a case with respect to permanent partial disability benefits (PPD).  There are three ways that the Claimant may receive PPD benefits: (1) following a hearing and an order granting PPD from the Commission (which is treated the same as a Stipulation); (2) a Stipulation; or (3) a Settlement.  There are important differences between a Settlement and Stipulation that a claimant should consider prior to entering into any agreement with the insurer.

When the parties stipulate to a PPD award, the claimant and insurer are agreeing that:

When the parties reach a Settlement regarding a PPD award, the claimant and insurer are agreeing that:

It is very important for the claimant to realize that when they settle a case instead of entering into a Stipulation, they are waiving any future rights they may be entitled to under workers’ compensation law, unless those rights and benefits are expressly provided for in the Settlement Agreement.

All Stipulations and Settlement Agreements will be reviewed and approved by the Commission.  In fact, any Stipulation or Settlement Agreement is not enforceable until the Commission provides approval. Settlement Agreements are more strictly scrutinized by the Commission because of the rights the claimant is usually giving up.

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