A: Yes, but it takes a Commissioner’s approval to “commute” (change the form of ) weekly benefits to a lump sum.
There are two things to consider when asking for a “commutation” of permanent injury benefits. First, the Commissioner does not have to agree with the request, and wants to hear a good reason the worker needs the money all at once. Still, even if the worker’s debts have piled up and creditors are calling, the Commissioner may not approve a commutation request if the worker still does not have a steady income or a job. Second, commutation means the lump sum will be slightly smaller than the full weekly total. This is because the insurance company is losing a little interest on its money by paying all at once instead of doling it out in pieces each week. Of course, to the extent the worker’s lump sum is slightly smaller, the attorney’s fee is also reduced.