Im not an attorney, but my gut feeling is she is indeed entitled to take payment from your husbands back pay.
I am in NY and I can only share what happened in my state to me, I was also injured at work, was on light duty for over a year, I was recieving reduced earning but the IC was not covering the rest (2/3 of the 20% I was losing) my case was shedualed for a hearing and the process itself just took time, When I recieved my back pay for the reduced earning my atty took I think $450.00 out approx. $3500.00, cant remember the exact numbers, which I felt was reasonable, not all workers compensation claimants get settlements at the end of thier cases.
I dont Think a lump some payment for back pay would be considered a final settlement of a claim, but perhaps a settlement/award of that particular issue.
Im sure your attorney put some effort and worked to get your husband the back pay and medical benefits he is entitled to and I feel that it's only fair she get paid.
Most people think workers comp attorneys make tons of cash, in fact they really dont.
I was on light duty almost a year and missed 8 weeks of work back in 2003-2004, my case is still open, I have a PPD, and will need medical care for my injury for a long time to come, but I work full time at full pay, every now and then an issue arises with the IC and medical care, a deniel of a certain treatment, a disputed medical bill and I have had to go into consiliation, I call my attorney for advise or to ask that he to forward something to The IC or WCB and they are always more than willing to help me, when no money is moving to me, no money moves to my attorney, yet they have not dismissed me as a client. I will not be getting a settlement, and I dont forsee myself being taken out of work again, through my whole case, since 2003, my attorney has collected no more than $600.00 and my case in the beggining was controverted.
In my opinion Workers Compensation attorneys sometimes dont get the credit they deserve, Im not implying you dont give your attorney credit for his work, so please dont take it the wrong way,Im just trying to give you another way, on a personal level to look at the situation.