Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Structured Settlements in the United States

The United States has enacted structured settlement laws and regulations at both the federal and state levels. Federal structured settlement laws include sections of the (federal) Internal Revenue Code. State structured settlement laws include structured settlement protection statutes and periodic payment of judgment statutes. Medicaid and Medicare laws and regulations affect structured settlements. To preserve a claimant’s Medicare and Medicaid benefits, structured settlement payments may be incorporated into “Medicare Set Aside Arrangements” “Special Needs Trusts."

Structured settlements have been endorsed by many of the nation's largest disability rights organizations, including the American Association of People with Disabilities and the National Organization on Disability .

In April 2009, financial writer Suze Orman wrote in a column that structured settlements "provide ongoing income and reduce the risk of blowing a lump sum through poor financial choices." In response to a reader's question, she added that financial security can be improved "if you use the structured payouts wisely."

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