Where To Begin When Starting A Workers Comp Claim

 

Host:

There are so many details you need to know when it comes to receiving your workers compensation settlement, and it is hard to know where to even begin, and that’s why we have the lovely Katherine Stone from Injury Florida Law here to help us out.

Host:

.We’re talking about workers compensation, which is so important, and I’m so glad that we have someone like yourself because from what I’ve learned, it completely can be overwhelming and people don’t know where to begin.

Katherine:

Right, and especially when it comes to the time of settlement-

Host:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Katherine:

… um, and, and by that point, I’ve already been involved, hopefully, um, although I have gotten some calls occasionally, and one here recently where she was trying to negotiate the settlement by herself with the adjuster but she was a Medicare recipient, and so there’s all kinds of, uh, ramifications of a work comp settlement with regards to your Medicare and using your Medicare benefits in the future, so thankfully she reached out to me ahead of time. Basically meant you can’t shift the burden of what workers comp would pay for your medical care onto Medicare. Um, we have what’s called Medicare set asides, so out of a portion out of your settlement actually has to be put into a special account and used solely for what we call Medicare covered expenses for those injuries that were, uh, covered by workers comp.

Host:

Again, it just seems like this is another example of the, that red line, things that you don’t necessarily think of, and people aren’t gonna tell you this.

Katherine:

No. I mean, the adjuster knew what she was doing in the sense of she knew that that Medicare set aside money needed to be allocated in the settlement documents.

Host:

Right.

Katherine:

And she did bring it up to the claimant, which kudos to her for bringing that up because they’re just as likely on the hook with Medicare as the claimant can be.

Katherine:

So, it’s in both parties interest that you have that specific language in there and that they, in this particular case, there’s certain thresholds where Medicare actually gets to approve your settlement documents. And approve whether or not you have put enough money aside. So, there’s a lot of things um, with settlements that come up. Um, another issue that has come up uh, is child support and am- alimony, can be taken out of your settlement if you are in arrears and so, if you i- if your settlement is less than your um, arrearage-

Host:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Katherine:

… then they take 50% of your net after attorney’s fees and costs. And that’s something that I’ve had a lot of clients recently have a really hard time understanding, even with child support that was like almost 20 years old.

Katherine:

And unfortunately, and I have to explain this to clients, they’re not gonna put any more money on the table to pay you because you owe past-due child support or, or alimony. We, we literally have a database that we have to submit a uh, request for every single claimant. It doesn’t matter age or anything. Every claimant before they settle, you have to have that child support report.

Host:

Hmm, man. So, it seems like one of those things like child support or Medicare, those things that you need to bring up right out of gate.

Katherine:

That’s, it’s on my intake questionnaire. Because I have to know that well in advance. Um, knowing exactly ya know, what’s happening. And ya know, sometimes you’ll get a client who’s older and they’ll be like, “Oh, I don’t owe any child support.” And then, occasionally you get one that will be 20 years old. (laughs)

Host:

Wow. And then it’s like, “Okay. Hello.” Information that we could have used. And I’m glad that you brought up that system too because in reality people try to kind of like squirt the system or think they can get around it. Not the case.

Katherine:

Now, we have had instances and I did have an instance recently um, where the gentleman, the, the state system was showing one thing, but the county system was showing something different. We were able to get a letter from the county to be able to change his numbers.

Host:

Katherine’s the one who’s able to go break it down, help you keep everything in tact. If you’re interested in more information in getting in touch with Katherine, there’s the information on your screen, phone number, website. Of course, we’re talking about Injury Florida Law. Katherine, as always, we appreciate your time.

INJURY FLORIDA LAW FIRM, P.A.

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