While the goal of a settlement is to provide fair and adequate compensation, the reality is that the proceeds may not sufficiently fund a claimant’s lifetime medical and personal needs. Some claimants may require the added assistance of needs-based government benefits to maintain a reasonable quality of life. Unfortunately, if a settlement is not planned properly, access to those benefits could be compromised, leaving the injured claimant scrambling to survive. Insufficient guidance could also expose a law firm to future malpractice liability.
Entitlement programs such as Medicare and SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) are not asset-tested, so the acceptance of a settlement should not impact eligibility. However, programs that use an asset threshold to test eligibility could be adversely impacted. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Medicaid (Medi-Cal)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps/CalFresh)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Subsidized Housing
- Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
ARCHER’s highly-trained government benefits team works with injured claimants and law firms to identify potential eligibility risks and educate claimants on the implications of improper planning. Our government benefit specialists also advise claimants on their settlement options and, if needed, connect them with additional industry resources to ensure that their individual needs are resolved. Our comprehensive government benefit preservation services allow your clients to rest assured that they will have access to the benefits they need with little to no interruption.