§ 725.521Commutation of payments; lump sum awards.
(a) Whenever the district director determines that it is in the interest of justice, the liability for benefits or any part thereof as determined by a final adjudication, may, with the approval of the Director, be discharged by the payment of a lump sum equal to the present value of future benefit payments commuted, computed at 4 percent true discount compounded annually.
(b) Applications for commutation of future payments of benefits shall be made to the district director in the manner prescribed by the district director. If the district director determines that an award of a lump sum payment of such benefits would be in the interest of justice, he or she shall refer such application, together with the reasons in support of such determination, to the Director for consideration.
(c) The Director shall, in his or her discretion, grant or deny the application for commutation of payments. Such decision may be appealed to the Benefits Review Board.
(d) The computation of all commutations of such benefits shall be made by the OWCP. For this purpose the file shall contain the date of birth of the person on whose behalf commutation is sought, as well as the date upon which such commutation shall be effective.
(e) For purposes of determining the amount of any lump sum award, the probability of the death of the disabled miner and/or other persons entitled to benefits before the expiration of the period during which he or she is entitled to benefits, shall be determined in accordance with the most current United States Life Tables, as developed by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the probability of the remarriage of a surviving spouse shall be determined in accordance with the remarriage tables of the Dutch Royal Insurance Institution. The probability of the happening of any other contingency affecting the amount or duration of the compensation shall be disregarded.
(f) In the event that an operator or carrier is adjudicated liable for the payment of benefits, such operator or carrier shall be notified of and given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings to determine whether a lump sum award shall be made. Such operator or carrier shall, in the event a lump sum award is made, tender full and prompt payment of such award to the claimant as though such award were a final payment of monthly benefits. Except as provided in paragraph (g) of this section, such lump sum award shall forever discharge such operator or carrier from its responsibility to make monthly benefit payments under the Act to the person who has requested such lump-sum award. In the event that an operator or carrier is adjudicated liable for the payment of benefits, such operator or carrier shall not be liable for any portion of a commuted or lump sum award predicated upon benefits due any claimant prior to January 1, 1974.
(g) In the event a lump-sum award is approved under this section, such award shall not operate to discharge an operator carrier, or the fund from any responsibility imposed by the Act for the payment of medical benefits to an eligible miner.
Title 20 published on 2014-04-01
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