A structured settlement annuity (SSA) provides tax-free payments over a period of time, specifically designed to meet an injured party's needs. Payments are funded with an annuity policy and the payout can be customized for the claimant’s situation. A structured settlement arises most commonly when a plaintiff wins a lawsuit due to injury, malpractice or negligence. Payments are often structured to coincide with certain key ages. An injured child might be timed to have the bulk of the payments made after they turn 21, while the structured settlement of an injured 45-year-old adult might include annual payments for the next 20 years and then a lump sum at age 65. To avoid the financial risks involved by having the plaintiff depend on the defendant to make payments over the span of many years or decades, the plaintiff receives a structured settlement annuity from a highly rated insurance company to make the obligatory payments. This allows the defendant to resolve his/her end of the settlement with a single lump sum payment.
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