structured settlement

A structured settlement is an arrangement made with a person or company who has been injured and awarded financial compensation through a lawsuit. The injured person agrees to receive the money in periodic payments instead of one large sum. It can be beneficial for several reasons: it allows the injured person to receive cash over time, which can help with long-term care; it protects the injured person from having all of the money taken at once, which could leave them unable to pay bills or live comfortably; and it guarantees that the injured person will have some income even if they are unable to work due to their injury. If you consider accepting a structured settlement, there are several things you should keep in mind.

Make Sure You Understand the Terms of the Settlement

The first step is to make sure you understand what you agree to. Structured settlements typically have a set number of payments, and there may be penalties for missed or late fees. You should also be aware of any taxes owed on the income from the settlement.

It’s essential to understand the terms of your settlement to make an informed decision about whether it makes sense for you or not. If parts of the agreement don’t seem fair, ask questions until everything is clear and then decide whether this type of payment arrangement will work best in your situation.

Make Sure You Have a Plan for How to Use the Money

It’s not enough to receive the money in periodic payments – you need to plan what you will do with it. If you don’t need the money right away, you can invest it and let it grow over time. However, if you are injured and unable to work, you may need to use some of the money right away for living expenses. It would help if you had a plan in place so you don’t spend all of your money on immediate needs without thinking ahead about what will happen when those payments stop coming in.

If possible, it would be best if the structured settlement included an option to get some of the money in a lump sum if you need it. It can help you avoid taking out a loan or borrowing from family and friends when you need cash quickly.

Understand The Tax Implications of Your Settlement

A structured settlement can be a great way to receive money over time, but there are some essential things you should know about taxes before accepting one. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers any amount paid out as part of a lawsuit or insurance policy claim to be taxable income; however, there are some exceptions to this general rule.

If you receive compensation for physical injury or sickness, the amount of your settlement will not be taxable as long as it is less than a particular amount. Only the portion above these limits will be taxed at your regular income tax rate if it’s more than that.

If you receive a structured settlement for something other than physical injury or sickness, like emotional distress, the entire amount will be considered taxable income.

Consider The Pros and Cons of a Structured Settlement Company

There are several things to think about when deciding whether or not to accept a structured settlement. On the plus side, they can provide you with a steady income over time, which can be helpful if you are injured and unable to work. They can also protect you from having all of your money taken at once by someone who might try to sue you for negligence or another claim related to your injury.

On the other hand, structured settlements can be costly because of their fees and tax implications. Also, if something unexpected happens, like an illness that requires expensive medical treatment or a job loss, it may not be easy to get access to the money you need right away because of how these settlements are set up.

There may also be restrictions on investments one can make with their money, which means it could sit idle in an account earning little interest. At the same time, inflation continues its upward trajectory over time.


We have discussed a structured settlement, how it works, and why you might want to consider one. By understanding the pros and cons of structured settlements, you can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of agreement will work for your situation

What is a structured settlement?

In 1982, the U.S. Congress passed the Periodic Payment Settlement Act. This piece of legislation was designed to protect a plaintiff from depleting their cash sum award from a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit too quickly. It was also meant to prevent the plaintiff from going on public assistance because they spent all their money from the award. The Periodic Payment Settlement Act helped to establish a stream of income for a specified time or the life of the plaintiff. This legislation changed the tax code by making these payments tax-free under most circumstances.

Before 1982, a court settlement was typically paid in one lump sum. A claimant would often spend all the money, yet they were still injured and could not work. They would often have to go on public assistance until they were able to go back to work.

At some point during the 1970s, insurance companies saw an opportunity to set up structured settlement payments to individuals who won large cash payouts from their lawsuits. They argued that lump-sum settlements are tax-exempt, so structured settlements should also be tax-exempt. Insurance companies used annuities as a vehicle to set up structured settlement payments.

How does it work?

When a plaintiff wins or settles a lawsuit against a defendant, a licensed structured settlement consultant will work with the plaintiff to purchase an annuity from a life insurance company. The consultant and plaintiff need to choose a highly-rated life insurance company because that company will be managing the annuity. The plaintiff can negotiate the terms of the payments such as:

  • When the payments begin
  • The frequency of the payments
  • The dollar amount of the payments
  • The length of the term of the payments

What is an annuity?

An annuity is an insurance product that is often used by retirees who need a steady source of cash flow during retirement. An annuity can be funded with periodic payments or with one lump sum of money. There are different types of annuities, which include immediate pay fixed or variable income annuities and deferred pay fixed or variable income annuities. The plaintiff will need to decide which type of annuity is best for their situation.

Types of cases that result in structured settlements

Many types of lawsuits can result in a lump sum cash payment. Court cases that typically result in structured settlements include:

  • Personal injury cases – A person can file a lawsuit for injuries they believed were caused by another person or business. A structured settlement can help pay for medical costs and lost wages.
  • Medical malpractice – An injured patient or the family of a deceased patient can sue if they believe they were harmed by a doctor.
  • Workers’ compensation – This is a type of structured settlement that provides compensation to an employee who is unable to work due to a workplace injury. It pays for medical costs and lost wages.
  • Wrongful death – When a family claims that their loved one is a victim of wrongful death, they can seek compensation to replace the income of their loved one.