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Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Legal Library

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80.03 Compromise.

(1) Whenever an employer and an employee enter into a compromise agreement concerning the employer's liability under ch. 102 , Stats., for a particular injury to that employee, the following conditions shall be fulfilled:

(a) The compromise agreement shall be in writing, or in the alternative, oral on the record at the time of scheduled hearing;
(b) The compromise agreement shall be mailed to the department unless made on the record;
(c) The compromise agreement must be approved by the department; and
(d) No compromise agreement may provide for a lump sum payment of more than the incurred medical expenses plus sums accrued as compensation or death benefits to the date of the agreement and $10,000 in unaccrued benefits where the compromise settlement in a claim other than for death benefits involves a dispute as to the extent of permanent disability. Lump sum payments will be considered after approval of the compromise in accordance with s. 80.39 .
(e) Compromise agreements which provide for payment of a lump sum into an account in a bank, trust company or other financial institution, which account is subject to release as the department directs, will be authorized.
(f) Appropriate structured settlements will be approved.
(g) All written compromise agreements submitted to the department shall contain the following: The employee has the right to petition the department of workforce development to set aside or modify this compromise agreement within one year of its approval by the department. The department may set aside or modify the compromise agreement. The right to request the department to set aside or modify the compromise agreement does not guarantee that the compromise will in fact be reopened.
(2) If the department approves the compromise agreement, an order shall be issued by the department directing payment in accordance with the terms of the compromise agreement. No compromise agreement is valid without an order of the department approving the agreement.
(3) Section 102.16 (1) , Stats., places upon the department the responsibility for reviewing, approving, modifying, setting aside and issuing awards on compromise agreements. The action that is taken on any individual claim is dependent upon the facts, circumstances and judgment of the merits of compromise in that specific case. In arriving at a judgment of the merits the department will take into account the following general considerations:
(a) Medical reports, statements or other information submitted by the parties to show that there is a genuine and significant basis for a dispute between the parties.
(b) Estimates of the disability by the physicians, chiropractors or podiatrists which do not vary significantly in estimates of the scheduled or nonscheduled disability will not be presumed to demonstrate a basis for dispute.
(c) The length of time since active treatment has been necessary. The presumption is that the longer the interval the less likely that treatment will be required in the future.
(d) Scientific knowledge or experience indicating that there may be further progression of the disability or that future treatment may be required. Examples of such conditions are: skull fractures with laceration of the dura, sub-;capitol fractures of the femur, silicosis and asbestosis.
(e) The length of time since the date of injury.
(f) Any and all other factors that bear on the equity of the pro

posed compromise. History: 1-;2-;56 ; am., Register, April, 1975, No. 232 , eff. 5-;1-;75; r. and recr. Reg ister, September, 1982, No. 321 , eff. 10-;1-;82; am. (1) (d), cr. (1) (f) and (g) and (3), Register, September, 1986, No. 369 , eff. 10-;1-;86; CR 07-;019 : am. (1) (d) and (g), Register October 2007 No. 622 , eff. 11-;1-;07.

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