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SSD and Lump Sum WC Death Benefit Settlement

I am a 57 year old widow who has been receiving WC death benefits since 1988. There is no LE built into my WC payments, it is just until my death. Recently, the claims people called me and asked if I would be interested in a lump sum settlement. They didn't offer an amount, they want me to tell them what I would want. I am on SSD and had to take a minuscule early retirement through my union so the monthly WC check is really nice to count on. I was thinking though, if I could pay off my house and vehicle, I could come out ahead monthly depending on how much over that amount they would give me.

I know that I would need to get an attorney, but the claim is in a state that is 4,000 miles from where I live and should I NOT take the settlement, I am worried about attorney fees. I am also worried about whether or not the settlement would be taxable (I've read it both ways!) and if it would affect my monthly SSD payment. I have read a lot about the subject for injured people collecting WC but haven't been able to find anything pertaining to death benefits.


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We're not experts in this area, so I'm afraid we can't offer much help.

Seeing if the lump sum payout is worthwhile involves some financial analysis. The lump sum amount and your estimated lifetime are two important variables. Another is if the WC payment increases with inflation. This increase can be very valuable.

Please contact the SSA for the effect of a lump sum payment on your SSD. The following links don't mention WC survivor benefits, but these may be helpful :

http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/413

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10018.html

Thank you for the reply. The WC payments don't have any type of increases. I'm not sure what criteria they use to figure the EL; I read somewhere that they go by the current stats from the CDC. The information didn't apply directly to my situation though, so I'm not sure if that's the case.

I've tried contacting SSA; they aren't sure either and are checking into it (!). It's been a while with no answers so thought maybe someone else has a similar dilemma. I guess it's back to the websites in the meantime! They make my eyes bleed!

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