Qualified vs. Non-Qualified Assignments: What Do They Mean for Settlement Proceeds?

When it comes to placing settlement proceeds or attorney fees in an annuity, claimants and attorneys may find themselves confused about the tax implications associated with the annuity payments. They may hear the words “qualified” and “non-qualified” discussed—but how do those terms relate to settlement proceeds? Structured Annuities: How They Work If a claimant decides…

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Entitlement Benefits: What are They and Will a Settlement Impact Eligibility?

There is substantial confusion about what the word “entitlement” means in the context of government benefits. The following post breaks down which programs qualify as “entitlement benefits.” We’ll also examine the impact of a settlement on entitlement benefits. What do the words “entitlement benefit” mean? The word “entitlement,” when used to describe a certain group…

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What is a Trigger Trust: and Why Should Some Claimants Consider One?

When settling a personal injury case, it is not uncommon for the claimant to have unclear expectations of the true impact that an injury will have on their long-term physical and financial well-being. Claimants who aren’t currently receiving needs-based government benefits may find themselves in need of financial assistance in the future—and out of luck…

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Is it Wise to Structure Non-Injury Settlements?

Structured settlements are typically associated with personal injury, wrongful death, and workers’ compensation settlements. The federal tax code permits income tax exclusion for structured settlements used in injury cases, but when it comes to non-injury settlements, are structures still a favorable option? Qualified Assignments vs. Non-Qualified Assignments When a claimant elects to place settlement proceeds…

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Can Structured Settlements Stand Up Against Traditional Investments?

There is a gross misconception that structured settlements offer rates of return well below market standards, precluding them from serving as a viable settlement option. In reality, rates of return on structured settlements are very much in line with rates offered by other fixed income investments. Structured settlements produce returns that are net of income…

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Does a Settlement Impact Disability Benefits?

  Disabled claimants may run into benefit issues when accepting proceeds from a personal injury settlement. The acceptance of a lump sum may render an individual ineligible for needs-based government benefits, while entitlement benefits remain intact. When it comes to disability benefits, which is which—and how can a claimant protect their eligibility? SSDI vs. SSI:…

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What is a Pooled Special Needs Trust- and is it the Right Option for Your Client?

If you are an attorney working with a disabled claimant, you’ll want to bring in a settlement planner to review your client’s options. When a disabled individual anticipates accepting proceeds from an injury settlement, certain steps must be taken to help the claimant maintain eligibility for needs-based government benefits (e.g., Medi-Cal, SSI) and preserve their…

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The New Liability MSA Policy: What You Need to Know

For years, plaintiff attorneys and settlement planning professionals have operated under a set of unclear assumptions when it came to liability settlements and future medicals for Medicare beneficiaries.  While the rules are still unclear, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) indicated that they are set to make some changes to Liability Medicare Set-Asides…

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