The Big 3 Liens: Medicare, Medicaid, and Friend of the Court

Workers comp lawyer in Michigan shows how liens can delay your settlement and what you can do about it.

The decision to settle your workers comp case is not easily made. You must consider everything you are giving up and weigh that against what you are getting in return. A good workers comp lawyer can help you with the pros and cons of settlement.

Once the decision to settle your case has been made, most of our clients want to get their money as soon as possible. This is understandable as many have been without income while their claim has been disputed.

Before any workers comp settlement can be approved by a magistrate, you must consider the interests of Medicare, Medicaid, and Friend of the Court. We call these the big 3.


Medicare is a type of health insurance provided by the Federal Government for retirees and people who are disabled from work. You can qualify for Medicare if you receive SSDI benefits.

When you settle a workers comp case, you have significant obligations to Medicare. You must pay Medicare back for any conditional payments that should have been paid under workers comp. You must also take Medicare’s interests into consideration so that it does not pay future medical bills.

The reason for all this is simple. Medicare is considered a secondary payer and does not want to pay medical bills that should be covered under workers comp. When you settle your workers comp case, you are responsible.

Some settlements must even be submitted to Medicare for its approval. This is a long and complicated process and it’s best to start as soon as possible.


Medicaid is a health insurance program that provides medical assistance to individuals with very low income and limited assets.  You can get Medicaid if you are approved for SSI.  Medicaid pays low rates and it is sometimes difficult to find a doctor who will accept this type of health insurance.

Michigan law requires that Medicaid be reimbursed for medical bills that should have been paid under workers comp. It can collect half of your net settlement for this purpose. Many times an experienced workers comp lawyer can negotiate a better deal.

Friend of the Court

If you owe money for back child or spousal support, expect to give up a portion of your workers comp settlement. Michigan law allows for up to half of your settlement to be given to Friend of the Court.

Sometimes arrangements can be made for you to pay much less. This is especially true if you are current on your payments. An experienced workers comp lawyer can help you resolve your obligations in a fast and professional manner.

Getting help and planning ahead

Our experience shows that the best way to speed up your settlement is by planning ahead. You can track your Medicare claims by going to You can also request a letter from the State of Michigan regarding its Medicaid lien. Be honest about past child and spousal support obligations so that a plan of action can be made.

Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our workers comp lawyers in Michigan. We fight to maximize your workers comp settlement and you never pay a fee unless you are successful with your case.

Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.

Related information:

How a workers compensation attorney can help you

Michigan Work Comp Lawyers – Client Testimonials

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