We are enclosing an Administrative Bulletin issued today by Senior Judge Omar Hernandez regarding the Department's new policy limiting lump sum settlement agreements to only one date of injury. The parties now need to draft separate lump sum settlement documents for each board number and date of injury they seek to close out. The aggregate of the settlements may be reflected upon the Employer's Consent Form #116A.

A separate lump sum agreement must now be drafted for each date of injury, even if it is only for a dollar ($1.00). An insurer can only settle those cases that they actually have policies for. Each lump sum settlement agreement must reflect the appropriate DIA number with corresponding date of injury.

We also remind you that a thorough investigation of any and all potential liens must be conducted prior to approval of any proposed lump sum settlement. This should include, but is not limited to Department of Transitional Assistance, Department of Revenue Child Support Enforcement Unit, Veterans Services, State and Federal taxes, prior counsel, or any medical, dental, hospital or disability income provider. 

Care and attention to proper and timely payment of all settlements will avoid any potential penalties.

We recognize that this new Departmental policy may require additional time and effort by all participants to satisfy the statutory requirements of M.G.L. c. 152, § 48(3).

The Administrative Bulletin may be found here .

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