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Know How Deductions Will Impact Your Workers' Compensation Settlement

Many work-related injuries affect your ability to work at your job for a relatively short period of time. Workers' compensation insurance pays for you to stay home and for your medical needs relating to the medical condition. When things are more serious and you cannot return to your job, your injury might fall into a category that enables you to obtain a lump sum settlement from the insurance carrier. The way this disbursement is handled and what it includes will affect the way certain deductions affect your bottom line, so read on to learn more.

When No Deductions are Needed – When you are in the initial stage of workers' compensation disability wages, you should receive a weekly payment that equals about 66% or so of your usual wages. The actual percentage varies by location. This money has no deductions removed at all. No taxes, healthcare premiums, 401(k) contributions, FICA, etc. are removed. When it comes time to do your taxes for the year, your workers' comp wages are not taxed then, either. It is not income, so it's not taxed. 

Workers' Comp Settlements – After the ruling of a permanent disability, you will be offered a lump sum payment from the workers' comp carrier. The way this payment is taxed depends on what it covers. Most of your payment, whether you receive it in one lump sum or as a structured payment, is not taxed. If you have been waiting several months for the settlement, some of it could be taxed. In situations where workplace victims must wait months and months for a disputed workers' comp claim to be resolved, the state board of labor relations can order the insurance company to pay interest on the final amount awarded. If so, taxes might be due only on the interest portion of the payment. 

Other Deductions to Know About – The following may or may not apply to your case where a deduction of some type is removed from your settlement payment. It's vital, when you and your workers' comp lawyer are negotiating for the settlement, that you take deductions into the equation because they can impact the amount you get considerably.

  1. Medical Insurance: If you had to use your own health insurance to cover your medical needs, they may lay claim to some of your settlement. Liens on the settlement are also possible when medical facilities agree to treat you pending the settlement.
  2. Unemployment: You may be asked to pay back any unemployment compensation after receiving a settlement.
  3. Child support: If you fell behind in payments, the enforcement agency can claim back child support from the settlement.

Speak to your attorney to learn more about workers' compensation.