Two option to resolve your workers’ compensation claim:

fm=f_7zAAWom (1)

Compromise and Release (C&R)

A Compromise and Release is a type of settlement agreement where the employee
and the employer agree on a lump-sum payment to resolve the claim. Here are the key features:

Lump-Sum Payment:

  • The employee receives a one-time lump sum that covers all future benefits, including medical treatment and disability payments.
  • This amount is intended to cover all aspects of the claim, bringing it to a final closure.

Full Settlement:

  • A C&R effectively closes the case, meaning the employee relinquishes the right to any future claims or benefits related to the injury.
  • After the agreement, the employer or insurance company has no further obligations for medical treatment or additional compensation related to the injury.


  • The settlement is final once approved by a workers' compensation judge. It cannot be reopened for additional benefits, even if the employee’s condition worsens or new medical issues arise related to the injury.


  • The lump-sum amount is typically negotiated between the employee (or their attorney) and the employer’s insurance company. It often reflects the present value of future benefits and the potential costs of continued litigation.

Stipulated Award

A Stipulated Award is a different form of settlement where the employee and
employer agree on specific terms for ongoing benefits. Here are the main aspects:

Periodic Payments:

  • Instead of a lump sum, the employee receives ongoing periodic payments for disability and continues to have access to medical treatment related to the injury.
  • These payments are typically based on a percentage of disability as agreed upon in the stipulation.

Continued Medical Care:

  • The employee retains the right to future medical treatment for the work-related injury. This ongoing care is covered by the employer or their insurance company.
  • This option is often preferred by employees who may need long-term medical care or who are not ready to settle their future medical claims with a lump sum.


  • The stipulated award can be adjusted if the employee’s condition changes significantly, potentially leading to an increase in benefits or additional treatments.
  • This flexibility allows for adjustments to the settlement based on the evolving nature of the injury or disability.

Judicial Approval:

  • Like a C&R, a stipulated award must be approved by a workers' compensation judge. This ensures that the terms are fair and that the employee understands their rights under the agreement.

Key Differences

  • Future Medical Rights: In a C&R, the employee gives up rights to future medical treatment and benefits related to the injury, whereas in a Stipulated Award, the employee retains access to medical care and periodic payments.
  • Payment Structure: C&R involves a lump-sum payment that settles all aspects of the claim, while a Stipulated Award involves ongoing benefits and payments based on the agreed percentage of disability.
  • Finality vs. Flexibility: C&R provides a final resolution to the claim with no option for reopening, whereas a Stipulated Award offers more flexibility to accommodate changes in the employee’s condition.

Choosing the Right Option

The decision between a Compromise and Release and a Stipulated Award depends on various factors, including the employee's current and future medical needs, financial situation, and personal preferences regarding finality and flexibility.


For further information on these settlement options under California workers' compensation law, please refer to:

  • California Department of Industrial Relations - Settlements and Awards
  • Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) - Settlement Information
  • Guide to Workers' Compensation in California

This memo provides an informational guide to understanding Compromise and Release and Stipulated Award under California's workers' compensation system and it is not intended as legal advice. For any specific legal advice or assistance, please contact our highly competent and knowledgeable attorneys.