Montana Code Annotated 2013

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     39-71-701. Compensation for temporary total disability -- exception. (1) Subject to the limitation in 39-71-736 and subsection (4) of this section, a worker is eligible for temporary total disability benefits:
     (a) when the worker suffers a total loss of wages as a result of an injury and until the worker reaches maximum healing; or
     (b) until the worker has been released to return to the employment in which the worker was engaged at the time of the injury or to employment with similar physical requirements.
     (2) The determination of temporary total disability must be supported by a preponderance of objective medical findings.
     (3) Weekly compensation benefits for injury producing temporary total disability are 66 2/3% of the wages received at the time of the injury. The maximum weekly compensation benefits may not exceed the state's average weekly wage at the time of injury. Temporary total disability benefits must be paid for the duration of the worker's temporary disability. The weekly benefit amount may not be adjusted for cost of living as provided in 39-71-702(5).
     (4) If the treating physician releases a worker to return to the same, a modified, or an alternative position that the individual is able and qualified to perform with the same employer at an equivalent or higher wage than the individual received at the time of injury, the worker is no longer eligible for temporary total disability benefits even though the worker has not reached maximum healing. A worker requalifies for temporary total disability benefits if the modified or alternative position is no longer available to the worker for any reason except for the worker's incarceration as provided for in 39-71-744, resignation, or termination for disciplinary reasons caused by a violation of the employer's policies that provide for termination of employment and if the worker continues to be temporarily totally disabled, as defined in 39-71-116.
     (5) In cases in which it is determined that periodic disability benefits granted by the Social Security Act are payable because of the injury, the weekly benefits payable under this section are reduced, but not below zero, by an amount equal, as nearly as practical, to one-half the federal periodic benefits for the week, which amount is to be calculated from the date of the disability social security entitlement.
     (6) If the claimant is awarded social security benefits, the insurer may, upon notification of the claimant's receipt of social security benefits, suspend biweekly compensation benefits for a period sufficient to recover any resulting overpayment of benefits. This subsection does not prevent a claimant and insurer from agreeing to a repayment plan.
     (7) A worker may not receive both wages and temporary total disability benefits without the written consent of the insurer. A worker who receives both wages and temporary total disability benefits without written consent of the insurer is guilty of theft and may be prosecuted under 45-6-301.

     History: En. 92-701.1 by Sec. 1, Ch. 471, L. 1973; R.C.M. 1947, 92-701.1; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 21, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 464, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 9, Sp. L. June 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 52, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 296, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 25, Ch. 619, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 11, Ch. 243, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 121, L. 2001.

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