Prior to the receipt of settlement monies, there is much consideration that needs to go into planning for the future of the person who has suffered a brain injury. You want to make sure that you have hired an attorney that understands and has experience in settlement compliance and resolution.
When you receive a settlement as a result of an injury caused by someone else, you are responsible to report and pay back Medicaid, Medicare, and other state agencies that may have been paying medical expenses arising out of injuries sustained in an accident. In addition, receipt of settlement monies may effect your ability to continue qualification for needed benefits and sevices provided by state and federal government. You should choose an attorney that has experience in resolutions of governmental agencies’ claims and liens.
You also need an attorney with foresight and experience in the various financial tools that can be utilized to maximize client’s net proceeds while maintaining some or all of their entitlements through state and federal governmental agencies. You want an attorney who has concern that the cost of care and shelter for a traumatic brain injured person is protected over their lifetime. The below are just a few programs and financial tools that may be considered in cases involving catastrophic injuries.
STRUCTURED SETTLEMENTS: The underlying principle of a structured settlement is “an arrangement which compensates the injured party over a period of time. A good structured settlement is that the benefits will be paid when the cash is needed.” For more background history and detailed information on how a structured settlement work, see Selective Settlements comprehensive explanation regarding stucturing your settlment.
SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS: The Law Offices of Ian Mattoch knows that each of the cases we handle are varied, both in facts and in the injuries sustained. At the time of settlement or judgment following trial, a client may have been able to qualify for various entitlements and medical coverage through federal and state programs. In cases where a person has catastrophic injuries, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch works with its clients and their family members to maximize settlement monies to cover future costs of living, shelter, and medical care. In those cases where state or federally funded medical care programs need to be protected, the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch has utilized special needs trusts to protect the quality of life of a person who has a traumatic brain injury over a lifetime.
A special needs trust in administered by a trustee who ensures that the funds expended from the special needs trust are for the benefit of the person who has sustained a traumatic brain injury. These expenditures pay for medical and dental needs that are not covered by Medicaid or Medicare. In the untimely death of the person that has a traumatic brain injury, any money that is left in a special needs trust would need to be paid by to the state up to the amount of money they put into the medical treatment and care of the person who sustained a brain injury.
MEDICARE SET ASIDES: In July, 2001, The Center for Medicare Management issued a memo to Regional Administrators at Medicare Divisional Offices documenting review thresholds for future worker’s compensation payment of medical benefits following settlement of worker’s compensation injury claims under the Medicare Recovery Act.
Many companies were formed across the United States to advise and educate attorneys on how to handle future medical costs for their Medicare-recipient clients with worker’s compensation claims. Other companies were formed that were experts in handling Medicare compliance for a fee paid for by the attorney.
By last year, the summer deadline to begin reporting all types of personal injury claims for Medicare recipients was looming. The date was pushed back to October of 2010, and again to January, 2012.
Be assured at the Law Offices of Ian Mattoch, we have staff that has been advised and educated on compliance for negotiation and settlement of their claims and liens that they have incurred as a result of injuries sustained in accidents caused by someone else’s negligence.