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Workers' Compensation Board

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Section 32 Waiver Agreements

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:

The Board will review other waiver agreements through the hearing process.

For agreements currently circulating amongst the parties, the Board will accept the prior version of forms, as well as non-templated indemnity-only agreements, until April 1, 2016.

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:
Waiver Agreement - Section 32 WCL (C-32)

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:
Section 32 Settlement Agreement: Claimant Release (C-32.1)

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:
Settlement Agreement - Section 32 WCL Indemnity Only Settlement Agreement (C-32-I)

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

Rule 300.36:
Amendment of 12 NYCRR 300.36 (Section 32 and Voluntary Binding Review)

The use of the following forms will be mandatory effective March 1, 2016: