Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

what are structured settlement payments

What Are Structured Settlement Payments?

When it comes to a personal injury case, the two most common options for receiving damages are lump sums or structured settlement payments. Knowing what they are and how they work can help you make a decision that best suits your needs.

Structured settlements are a form of compensation designed to provide an income stream that will continue to grow for the long term. Payments are tax-free, and they are a great choice for those who want a more permanent source of income.

They are a form of compensation

Structured settlement payments are a form of compensation designed to compensate people who have been harmed as a result of another person’s negligence. They are used in a variety of civil lawsuits, including personal injury and workers’ compensation.

In most cases, structured settlements are negotiated during the course of a legal case to provide compensation for individuals who have been injured or killed due to someone else’s negligent actions. They are typically funded by an insurance company and can be paid out on a monthly, yearly or lump sum basis.

The process of getting a structured settlement starts when a plaintiff files a lawsuit against the at-fault party. This is usually a car accident, but it can also include medical malpractice or other types of injury-causing incidents. Once the defendant agrees to the terms of the settlement, it is submitted to the court for approval.

Once the judge signs the judgment, it becomes effective and the defendant then makes periodic payments according to the terms of the settlement or buys an annuity that guarantees regular payments over time from a different insurance company. This provides a guaranteed source of income or compensation and fully resolves the lawsuit.

A structured settlement is often preferred over a lump sum because it provides a more stable financial guarantee and allows people to tailor their payouts according to their specific needs. For example, some people receive larger payouts that can be used to purchase a home or pay for their children’s college tuition.

While these are common examples of how structured settlements work, there are many other types of cases where they may be a good choice. A structured settlement is an excellent option for people who have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and who want to make sure their money goes towards things that will help them in the long run.

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If you have recently been awarded a structured settlement and you are not sure how to use it, it’s important to discuss your options with a qualified financial advisor. They can explain your best options and guide you through the process of selling your structured settlement payments.

They are tax-free

Structured settlements are a way for injured people to receive periodic payments instead of a lump sum payout. This allows claimants to tailor their payments to meet specific needs throughout their lives, and provides a secure, predictable source of income that is independent of market volatility.

As a result, structured settlements have become a common source of financial security for injured individuals and their families. They offer a variety of benefits, including tax-free payments and a guaranteed rate of return.

These benefits are backed by laws that protect the rights of structured settlement recipients, and are designed to help them avoid entering into financial ruin. The money they receive sustains them and keeps them from going into debt and losing their ability to work or qualify for public assistance programs.

The tax-free status of these payments also makes them a great option for people who are financially strained and need a stable stream of income that isn’t affected by their poor money management skills. In addition, these payments are designed to preserve a person’s eligibility for Social Security and Medicaid.

While most claimants choose to accept periodic payments, some prefer a lump-sum payout. It is important to know the options available before making a decision.

One of the key advantages of structured settlements is that they are 100% tax-free under Section 104(a) of the Internal Revenue Code for personal injury and wrongful death cases. These payments are not taxable as an income, and growth is also excluded from taxation.

Another benefit is that they are exempt from state and federal taxes on dividends and capital gains, which can be especially helpful for people who are struggling to make ends meet or who are looking to pay off their debt. They are also exempt from state and local taxes on dividends and capital gains, which helps reduce the burden on public assistance programs.

As a result of these benefits, it is important to understand the different types of structured settlements and how they are regulated. Generally speaking, there are two categories of structured settlements: qualified settlements and non-qualified settlements.

They are a unique asset

Structured settlement payments are a unique asset that offer a number of benefits to injured individuals and their families. These benefits include protection from creditors or financial predators, flexibility in how the payment amount is negotiated, and a tax-free income stream.

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However, it is important to understand that structured settlements are only a part of a larger compensation package. If a person’s medical or personal circumstances change significantly, the periodic payments of a structured settlement may not be sufficient.

To combat this, some people opt to sell a portion of their structured settlement payments. These sales are known as secondary market annuities. This method involves selling your structured settlement payments for a lump sum of cash at a discount.

While these types of investments can be lucrative, they are also risky. Many annuity owners choose to sell their payments because they are concerned that a change in the economy or a loss of employment will negatively impact their monthly cash flow.

Another reason to consider selling your payments is to help you obtain a larger amount of cash for a lump sum payout, or to help you meet other short-term needs. If you’re considering a sale, it’s important to consider all your options and find a company that can provide the best value for your money.

It’s important to note that a transfer of your future payments is often a court-approved process. This is a result of the intersection of federal tax law (IRC 5891) and state laws, which require courts to approve any transfer of payments.

In addition, because these payments are transferred by a court order, the potential for payment diversion is greatly reduced. The annuity provider is a party to the court-supervision process, making it difficult for it to divert payments in direct violation of a court order.

For this reason, it’s always a good idea to seek the assistance of a specialized lawyer when planning the transfer of your structured settlement funds. A special needs trust is more complex to manage than many other trusts, and a knowledgeable lawyer can ensure that qualified disbursements are properly monitored to maintain eligibility for government benefits.

They are a form of investment

Structured settlement payments are often viewed as an investment because they allow people to receive cash on a regular basis. They are also a way for accident victims to have more control over their finances.

While a structured settlement can be beneficial for plaintiffs, it’s important to be aware of some drawbacks to this option. First, they can lead to financial hardships if they aren’t used properly.

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Moreover, the amount of money that is paid out each month can be relatively small. This means that a person receiving these funds may be tempted to spend it quickly or lose track of their spending habits.

This could leave them with little income and a lot of debt. Additionally, this may make it difficult for them to save for future expenses or retirement.

These issues can be addressed by pairing a structured settlement with a trust that will protect the assets. These can be a settlement preservation trust, protection trust, or management trust.

However, it’s important to understand that a trust won’t give you as much cash as you would get from a structured settlement. If you are considering selling a structured settlement, it is a good idea to work with a broker who specializes in this type of transaction.

As with any investment, it’s essential to consider the risks and costs of a particular investment before making a decision. This is especially true with investments that require a high return to be successful.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case when it comes to structured settlements. Occasionally, people who are settling a lawsuit can find themselves in a position where they need immediate cash to pay for medical bills or other expenses.

In these situations, they’re often offered the option of using a company (factoring company) that will buy their structured settlements at a discount and provide the cash. This sounds great, but it’s important to know that the company does not represent you and does not have your best interests in mind.

The company also takes its fee from the sale, meaning that you’ll end up losing money in the process. In addition, these companies can take advantage of the fact that the settlements are often purchased at a low price and charge you excessive fees.

Jeffrey Augers
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By Jeffrey Augers

Jeffrey Augers is a highly skilled and experienced financial analyst with over 12 years of experience in the finance industry. He has a proven track record of delivering exceptional financial insights and recommendations to clients, empowering them to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.