Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 3. Miscellaneous Provisions

Filing True Claim -- Obtaining Benefits Through Deception Or Other Fraudulent Means

39-71-316. Filing true claim -- obtaining benefits through deception or other fraudulent means. (1) A person filing a claim under this chapter, by signing the claim, affirms the information filed is true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge.

(2) (a) A person who obtains or assists in obtaining benefits to which the person is not entitled or who obtains or assists another person in obtaining benefits to which the other person is not entitled under this chapter is guilty of theft and may be prosecuted under 45-6-301. A county attorney or the attorney general may initiate criminal proceedings against the person. This subsection includes but is not limited to a person who is receiving temporary total disability benefits, permanent total disability benefits, or rehabilitation benefits while working without the knowledge and concurrence of the insurer.

(b) As used in subsection (2)(a), "person" includes but is not limited to an employee, employer, insurer, or medical service provider.

(3) (a) The department may require a person convicted of theft under 45-6-301(5) to pay to the department an amount equal to 10 times the amount paid by an insurer on the false claim, provided that the amount does not exceed $50,000. If upon demand of the department the person refuses to pay the fine, the department may petition the workers' compensation court to collect the money owed.

(b) The department shall:

(i) use the money collected pursuant to subsection (3)(a) to administer and enforce the provisions of this section; and

(ii) forward any surplus money to the department of justice. The forwarded money must be used exclusively for the staffing and operation of the workers' compensation fraud investigation and prosecution office established in 2-15-2015.

(c) This section does not limit an insurer's civil remedies to collect for money paid to a person convicted under 45-6-301(5).

(4) A person licensed under the provisions of Title 37 is subject to suspension, revocation, or denial of a license if the person knowingly claims or assists in the claiming of benefits in violation of the provisions of this chapter.

History: En. Sec. 7, Ch. 464, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 296, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 618, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 619, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 12, Ch. 442, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 17, Ch. 416, L. 2005.