The Settlement Alliance

Claimants’ Top 3 Settlement Questions, Answered

Claimants’ Top 3 Settlement Questions, Answered

May 19, 2017

Depending on the complexity of a claimant’s case, attorneys sometimes spend years working to achieve a positive outcome. While settlement represents the closure of one chapter, it can also bring up a host of concerns for the claimant. Here are three questions we regularly hear from claimants during the settlement process:

#1: What is the Fastest Way to Receive My Money?

There seems to be a misconception that if a claimant elects to receive their settlement funds in the form of a lump sum, they will get paid faster than if they had elected to utilize a structured settlement. In reality, many structured settlement arrangements are designed with an up-front cash payment, followed by a series of periodic payments. The periodic payments can be scheduled to fit the needs of the claimant, whether that means monthly, quarterly, bi-annual, or annual payments, or even as a series of future lump sums to pay for larger expenses, such as college or retirement.

As long as the required forms and documents are submitted in a timely manner, the claimant should have the up-front cash payment when they need it. Don’t forget that if the claimant wants to structure, the decision must be made prior to finalizing the Settlement Agreement.

#2: I’ve Never Used a Financial Advisor. Who Can I Trust With My Money?

Allowing the claimant to quickly search for a financial advisor after receiving a large settlement is a surefire way to open them up to predatory financial practices. While there are certainly experienced, committed financial advisors out there, claimants often fall victim to “friends” and family asking for a handout and “advisors” looking to benefit by taking advantage of inexperienced investors. Introducing an experienced settlement planner early in the litigation process can help the claimant feel assured that they have a financial advocate and a customized plan in place to meet their short and long-term needs.

#3: Will the Settlement Affect My Government Benefits?

With all of the current discussion surrounding the overhaul of the Affordable Care Act, government benefits are a hot topic. Even a large settlement can be quickly depleted by medical costs, so maintaining eligibility for needs-based programs such as Medicaid, SSI, food stamps, and subsidized housing is imperative. The acceptance of a lump sum settlement would likely render a claimant ineligible for these types of benefits due to income and/or asset limits. Fortunately, there are certain financial tools, such as special needs trusts, that may help the claimant preserve both their benefits and their settlement proceeds.

Contact The Settlement Alliance to Learn More

We have worked with attorneys and claimants across the nation to ensure the efficient, effective resolution of personal injury settlements. Contact us today at 800-464-2500 or to learn more.

Disclaimer: The Settlement Alliance does not provide legal or tax advice.

We are proud to partner with the highest rated structured settlement providers in the industry:

  • American general Life Companies
  • Berkshire Hathaway Structured Settlements
  • MetLife
  • Mutual of Omaha
  • New York Life
  • Pacific Life
  • Prudential