Structured Settlements & People with Disabilities

Submitted by Eric Vaughn on Sat, 03/26/2016 - 01:42
structured settlement industry companies that participated in the 2016 AAPD Gala

On March 23, more than 50 structured settlement industry leaders attended the 2016 American Association of People with Disabilities Leadership (AAPD) Awards Gala in Washington, DC.  This year, 22 members of the National Structured Settlements Trade Association (NSSTA) contributed $80,000 to the AAPD.

NSSTA and AAPD have formed an unusually strong bond of mutual respect, commitment and support for the policy goals and objectives important to both organizations.  In fact, the entire structured settlement industry was built on the demand to provide financial security to seriously injured people who will face a lifetime of medical, health care and living expenses as a result of their accident.

Structured Settlements were specifically authorized by Congress in alignment with specific Internal Revenue Service rulings to provide long-term economic security and essential stability to people who have suffered serious physical injuries.  In return for the tax-free benefits, Congress also set limits on the level of risk acceptable in establishing them.  Qualified structured settlements may only be funded using obligations of the United States government or guaranteed contracts from fully regulated American life insurance companies.

Last year alone, more than 28,000 people elected to take at least a portion of their personal physical injury (and/or worker’s compensation) settlement in the form of a structured settlement. A significant number of these individuals will be provided with a guaranteed lifetime stream of tax-exempt payments to meet health care, medical care, living expenses and educational/training expenses.

A typical structured settlement might involve a baby who has suffered birth-related trauma as a result of medical malpractice.  That one-year-old baby’s parents may have obtained a settlement against a doctor or hospital--funded by the liability insurer--but now face the challenge of providing health care, medical care and meeting basic living expenses for a child that is expected to live until 75 years of age. Structured settlements are completely voluntary and are negotiated between plaintiff counsel working with the injured person and defense counsel—most times the settlement involves a blend of cash at settlement and funds used for a structured settlement. 

To see the list of structured settlement industry companies that participated in the 2016 AAPD Gala, click here.