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What is a Section 32 waiver agreement?

As you seek compensation for an on-the-job injury, you may hear about the option to use a Section 32 waiver agreement. If you consider this, it's critical that you understand exactly what it does, as it can change your fundamental rights as a worker.

First of all, this waiver agreement is made between you, the worker who was injured, and the insurance company. You are trying to claim medical benefits because of the injury. The waiver is used to settle that agreement and conclude the case.

If you do use the waiver, you will then be given a lump-sum payment. The amount, of course, differs from one case to the next. Regardless of the amount, it's a way for you to simply collect everything that the insurance company offers at once, and the money can then be used as needed -- to pay medical debts, for example.

In order for the agreement to be considered "final and binding", the Workers' Compensation Board has to read it and sign off on it. Even if you and the insurance company agree, it's not binding without their approval.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, accepting it means you no longer have any legal right to seek benefits or other compensation. If you took that lump-sum payment, you can't go back to court and seek more at a later date, due to the same injury. This can be problematic if new information comes to light, showing that the injury will cost more than you thought, but you already took the lump sum.

If you have more questions about these Section 32 waiver agreements or your other legal options, our website has a lot of helpful information.

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  • American Association for Justice
  • NYCOSH-New York Committee for occupational Safety & Health
  • NYSTLA
  • Queens County Bar Association
  • Society of New York Workers’ Compensation Bar Association, Inc | 1945
  • National Organization of social security claimants Representatives
  • NYSBA
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