Oregon Workers' Compensation Board Rules on Settlements

Posted on Jul 29, 2015

In a recent decision, the Oregon Workers' Compensation Board found that a claims disposition agreement releasing all aggravation rights did not include the right to seek coverage for medical benefits in the future.

When an injured worker resolves an accepted workers' compensation claim, the settlement agreement is known as a "claims disposition agreement." There are special requirements for claims disposition agreements. The most important is that an injured worker cannot release his or her rights to medical services. Future medical services may be available when the injured worker files an aggravation claim.  Sometimes, an injured worker will file a post aggravation worsening claim, or a post aggravation new medical condition claim. These claims allow for medical treatment if accepted.

An aggravation benefit is a request to reopen a claim when an injured worker has suffered an actual worsening of the accepted condition within five years after the claim has been closed. With an aggravation claim, the old claim is reopened, and the injured worker's entitled to many of the same benefits as with an original claim.

This decision reaffirms the fact that when an injured worker enters into a claims disposition agreement, the medical benefits part of an aggravation claim is still viable.

There are many things to think about when considering whether to resolve your accepted Oregon Workers' Compensation claim. To learn more about settlements, check out our popular article on the subject, or call us at 503-325-8600. We can advise you whether makes sense to consider claims settlement or not.