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COMMUTATION

"Commutation is the replacement of a greater amount by something lesser. To commute periodic payments means to substitute a single payment for a number of payments, or to come to a "lump sum" settlement."  Free legal dictionary

"if the employee wishes to commute the award... , the appeals board shall first determine whether the agreement or commutation is in the best interests of the employee and whether the proper procedures have been followed in determining the permanent disability rating. The administrative director shall promulgate a form to notify the employee, at the time of service of any rating under this section, of the options specified in this subdivision, the potential advantages and disadvantages of each option, and the procedure for disputing the rating." Labor Code §4061

An award or an attorney fee can be commuted. If there is not enough accrued indemnity to pay the attorney fee, to avoid a gap in payments, there is commutation from the far end or "horizontally," from each payment. See Articles below

See Commutation Instructions and zipped files from Disability Evaluation Unit

See, too, Attorney Fees

Label Item Links Comments
Labor Code At the time of making its award, or at any time thereafter, the appeals board, on its own motion either upon notice, or upon application of either party with due notice to the other, may commute the compensation payable under this division to a lump sum and order it to be paid forthwith or at some future time...."  Commutation  
Cases Commutation not allowed for income-producing investment.
Hulse v. WCAB
 

WCAB held that "uniformed increasing method (UIR) should be used for permanent disability awards with state average weekly wage (SAWW) because it provides for a more consistent net weekly benefit to an injured worker." UIR to be used  
Regulations/Rules 8 CCR §10169: Commutation Tables and Instructions. Commutation Tables and Instructions  
Forms Petition for Commutation of Future Payments Petition WCAB form
Spreadsheet for requesting DEU Commutation Spreadsheet Request DEU spreadsheets
Websites Disability Evaluation Unit (DEU) provides commutations as well as templates DEU  
Practice Tips In 100% cases, where applicant's attorney is seeking a commuted fee, be mindful of 8 CCR §10778: "All requests for an increase in attorney's fee shall be accompanied by proof of service on the applicant of written notice of the attorney's adverse interest and of the applicant's right to seek independent counsel. Failure to so notify the applicant may constitute grounds for dismissal of the request for increase in fee."

Before submitting the DEU calculations to the judge, go over them with the client and get written consent to attach to the petition:

"I, IMA INJURED, have reviewed this petition, discussed the contents with my attorney, and agree with the 15% fee requested by my attorney. My attorney has explained that I have the right to consult with another attorney regarding the reasonableness of the attorney fee request. My attorney has also explained how my benefits will increase every year there is an increase in the State's Average Weekly Wage.

Date: January xx, 2013
        
                        Respectfully submitted,
                                                          
                        IMA INJURED
                        Applicant"
   
Articles Commutation of Attorney Fee: Warren Schneider, Esq.

Commuting the Attorney Fee on a Life Pension: Uniform Increasing Reduction and Uniform Reduction Distinguished By Warren Schneider, Esq.
Commutation of Attorney Fee

Commute Fee on Life Pension
 
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