Yes. There are two kinds of workers’ compensation settlements in Georgia: one is a No-Liability Settlement, and the other is a Bona Fide Dispute Settlement. Both kinds of settlements are recorded in a document called a Stipulation and Agreement, and before either kind of settlement becomes binding upon the parties, it must first be approved by the Settlement Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
- A Bona Fide Dispute Stipulation and Agreement – which must be used after a claimant has received weekly income benefits – is one in which an employer and its insurance company admit liability for the claimant’s on-the-job injury and resulting disability. In addition to containing this admission of liability, a Bona Fide Dispute Stipulation and Agreement contains the monetary terms of the settlement.
- A No-Liability Stipulation and Agreement does not state the financial terms of the settlement, and instead is essentially limited to stating either that the claimant has agreed to dismiss his claim or that the parties have agreed that the claim should be denied. This does not mean that a claimant settling his claim on a no-liability basis will not receive a lump-sum of money. It simply means that instead of receiving this lump-sum as “compensation” for an accepted on-the-job injury and disability, he will receive this money as “consideration” for agreeing to dismiss his claim. The monetary terms of a No-Liability Settlement are typically recorded in a separate contract called a Covenant and Release.