As many Philadelphia residents know, most legislation has ways of slowing down bureaucratic processes instead of speeding them up. However, the new Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers (SMART) Act that was just passed on the federal level may actually buck the trend and speed up Workers Compensation Settlements.
The new SMART Act was just signed into law by the president and could help those who are trying to collect from workers compensation. The bill has three components to help speed up settlements. The first is that it requires the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to make its final reimbursement demand before a settlement agreement is made. That way, a settlement can be made and there is no need to backtrack or redo the process later. The second step is that there is now a three-year statute of limitations for CMS to seek reimbursement. The third is that there is now a minimum threshold for settlements for which CMS can seek Medicare reimbursement. This means that smaller claims can likely be handled much more quickly.
For many people who need workers compensation, the payments cannot come fast enough. If they make one mistake with filing the paperwork, then they could be set back for weeks or even months. For this reason, many workers use the help of a Worker’s Compensation Settlement Attorney to make sure everything is done correctly. However, even with legal help, the process can still take quite some time if the worker tried to get anything started on their own. For this reason, it is best to seek out help as quickly as possible to make sure the settlement can be received as quickly as possible.
After being injured at work, most workers just want to get back on the job as soon as they can. It can be difficult to get medical treatment or pay daily bills while out of work recovering without those critical worker’s compensation payments. The developments initiated by this new law will hopefully assist attorneys and their clients in obtaining quick and sufficient worker’s compensation.
Source: Business Insurance, “SMART Act could speed settlement of workers comp claims in 2013,” Sheena Harrison, Jan. 27, 2013