Lump-sum settlements may aid return-to-work process, study finds
The Boston-based Workers Compensation Research Institute looked at more than 2,000 workers injured in Michigan in 2004 who received lump-sum settlements. The researchers followed their employment experience for the next four years.
The study found:
- Three-quarters of the injured workers who received a lump-sum settlement did not change their employment status, "which means that many of those who were employed at the time of the lump sum stayed employed and those who were not employed remained unemployed."
- Of those who did change their employment status, nearly a third who were employed at the time of the settlement left work and nearly a fifth of those who were not employed attained employment.
- Average employment in the sample increased from 25 percent of workers at the time of the lump sum to 32 percent of workers one year after a settlement. "The exception is older workers who experienced a decline in employment after a settlement."
The researchers say the findings can help policymakers across the country.
"This is an important study because we need to find out whether settlements discourage return to work for injured workers who want to return to work or assist them in closing this chapter of their life and moving on with their career," said Bogdan Savych, the author and a public policy analyst at WCRI.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
August 6, 2012
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