ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Structured Settlement or Lump Sum Payment

Updated on January 10, 2011

Should I take a structured settlement or a one-time lump sum payment?

(Everyone's personal financial situation is different, but here is one view and opinion.)

If you are involved with a legal decision, financial claim or insurance arrangement, the financing process to settle and resolve the claim can often take two forms. Either a one-time lump sum payment, or a long-term periodic series of deferred structured settlement payments. But which is best for your situation?

A structured settlement involves a financial or insurance arrangement which includes a periodic stream of payments, that a claimant or plaintiff accepts in order to resolve a personal injury claim or other legal case. They were first utilized in Canada and the United States during the 1970s as an alternative to lump sum payments and are now part of the statutory tort law of several common law countries.

A structured settlement is a deferred payment method for compensating injury victims, and is a voluntary agreement between the injury victim ( plaintiff ) and the defendant. The plaintiff will receive the monetary payout over the course of a number of years through this deferred payment agreement. Under a structured settlement, an injury victim does not receive compensation for their injuries in one lump sum, but rather, they will receive a stream of tax free payments designed to meet future expenses and living needs. This type of compensation method is becoming more popular in a wide variety of legal cases.

The benefits of a structured settlement over a lump-sum payment include the security of a guaranteed long-term income with deferred payments that are exempt from income taxes. The federal government encourages the use of structured settlements in personal injury cases. Structured settlements also attract support from plaintiff attorneys, state attorneys general, legislators, consumer and disability advocates.

Structured settlements can be ideally suited for cases with:

• Severe injury

• Wrongful death cases

• Persons with temporary or permanent disabilities

• Workers compensation cases

• Guardianship cases that may involves minors

Want to Sell Your Structured Settlement?

Not everyone benefits from a long-term payment situation and some may want or need a lump sum instead. The owner of a structured settlement, such as lottery winners, medical, insurance, accident and lawsuit settlement owners, can often sell their rights to the deferred payment stream, in exchange for a one time lump sum payment from a variety of financial institutions. All situations are different, and as with any legal issue, you should always consult your attorney.

Types of Structured Settlements

Designated Period / Period Certain Annuities:

Life Annuity:

Temporary Life Annuity:

Lump sum:

More Discussion on Structured Settlement Issues

The economic benefit and tax issues in the structured settlement arrangement, as compared to a lump-sum settlement, arises because the Federal government forgoes taxation of the earnings component of each year's annual payment. Economists usually argue that such subsidies distort individual choice and lead to inefficient outcomes. Nevertheless, it can be argued that the choice of the lump sum settlement may create an externality, that is, a cost to taxpayers at large, not borne by the individual who chooses the lump sum settlement. Despite the implicit tax subsidy, the available evidence indicates that the majority of personal injury awards are paid as lump sum payments, not through structured settlement arrangements.

An individual's decision to sell his or her rights at a later date involves the same comparison the individual makes in initially agreeing to a structured settlement arrangement in lieu of a lump sum payment. The individual must weigh the value of the purchase price offered compared to the expected present discounted value of the income stream being sold. Issues arising from the transfer of structured settlement payment streams involve whether such sales are consistent with the purpose of the tax provisions, whether consumer protection or consumer freedom of economic choice is a more important policy, and whether the transfers should be stopped so as to eliminate present-law uncertainty as to their tax results.

Disclaimer: The content of this page is not affiliated with the company names or products discussed, listed, presented or shown. The information provided is for general information purposes only and without warranties of any kind. Company names and products shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Julie-Ann Amos profile image

      Julie-Ann Amos 

      9 years ago from Gloucestershire, UK

      Nice hub, have linked it from one of mine

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)