Section 32 Waiver Agreements are a negotiated agreement between the injured worker and the insurance carrier to settle indemnity and/or medical benefits on a claim. A waiver agreement ends the right of an injured worker to ongoing and future benefits in exchange for a lump sum payment or an annuity. If agreed upon and approved by the Board, whatever is settled (indemnity and/or medical benefits) is closed forever. The insurance carrier will no longer be responsible for that part of the claim and it cannot be reopened. If indemnity benefits are settled, no further payments for lost wages will be made. If medical benefits are settled, the insurance carrier will no longer pay for medical care. A waiver agreement is not binding unless it is approved by the Workers' Compensation Board.
In certain circumstances, the Board will use a desk review process, as authorized by Rule 300.36(e), to review and approve or disapprove Section 32 Waiver Agreements such as:
- Cases settling indemnity only and the injured worker (other than a minor dependent) is represented by an attorney, or
- when all parties to the agreement request desk review.
The Board will review other waiver agreements through the hearing process.
Form C-32 (Waiver Agreement - Section 32 WCL) must be submitted with all Section 32 Waiver Agreements and is used to provide consent for desk review.
Form C-32.1 (Section 32 Settlement Agreement: Claimant Release) must be submitted with all Section 32 Waiver Agreements. Counsel for the injured worker must attest that the waiver agreement has been reviewed with the injured worker and that the injured worker understands the document.
The Board has developed a video, entitled Settling Your Claim, which educates injured workers about the nature of a Section 32 Waiver Agreement and the implications of the agreement on their claim. The Board requires that injured workers watch this video before they enter into a waiver agreement:
For Section 32 Waiver Agreements that settle indemnity only, the Board has created a mandatory Form 32-I (Settlement Agreement - Section 32 WCL Indemnity Only Settlement Agreement) which must be submitted in addition to Forms C-32 and C-32.1.
Before making the final decision to settle medical benefits with a Section 32 Waiver Agreement, it is suggested that the injured worker talk to their treating physician. The injured worker should consider their need for future medical treatment, such as surgery, and the cost of that care. Additional information about Section 32 Waiver Agreements and answers to frequently asked questions:
Frequently Asked Questions
Section 32 Forms
- Settlement Agreement - Section 32 WCL Indemnity Only Settlement Agreement (C-32-I)
- Waiver Agreement - Section 32 WCL (C-32)
- Section 32 Settlement Agreement: Claimant Release (C-32.1)
Electronic Signatures for Payers
Insurers, Self-Insured Employers and Third-Party Administrators (Payer) may sign a Section 32 electronically by using the Section 32 - Electronic Signature (Form C-32E) to affirm that the electronic signature used on the Section 32 Waiver Agreement conforms to the requirements in Form C-32E and is binding for the Section 32 waiver agreement.
The person who electronically signs Section 32 Waiver Agreements on behalf of the payer should execute the Form C-32E on one occasion. The original signed version of Form C-32E should be maintained by the payer.
When a payer is preparing to submit a Section 32 Waiver Agreement that has an electronic signature:
- The payer should copy Form C-32E and complete the case information.
- The complete Form C-32E must be submitted with the Section 32 Waiver Agreement that has an electronic signature.
Important: Form C-32E must accompany each Section 32 Waiver Agreement that has an electronic signature. A Section 32 Waiver Agreement with an electronic signature that is submitted without Form C-32E attached will be returned.