Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 5. Uninsured Employers

Uninsured Employers' Fund -- Purpose And Administration Of Fund -- Maintaining Balance For Administrative Costs -- Appropriation

39-71-503. Uninsured employers' fund -- purpose and administration of fund -- maintaining balance for administrative costs -- appropriation. (1) There is created an uninsured employers' fund in the state special revenue account to pay:

(a) to an injured employee of an uninsured employer the same benefits the employee would have received if the employer had been properly enrolled under compensation plan No. 1, 2, or 3, except as provided in subsection (3);

(b) the costs of investigating and prosecuting workers' compensation fraud under 2-15-2015; and

(c) the expenses incurred by the department in administering the uninsured employers' fund.

(2) The department may refer to the workers' compensation fraud office, established in 2-15-2015, cases involving:

(a) false or fraudulent claims for benefits; and

(b) criminal violations of 45-7-501.

(3) (a) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), surpluses and reserves may not be kept for the fund. The department shall make payments that it considers appropriate as funds become available from time to time. The payment of weekly disability benefits takes precedence over the payment of medical benefits. Lump-sum payments of future projected benefits, including impairment awards, may not be made from the fund. The board of investments shall invest the money of the fund, and the investment income must be deposited in the fund.

(b) The department shall maintain at least a 3-month balance based on projected budget costs for administration of the fund. The balance for administrative costs may be used by the department only in administering the fund.

(c) The maximum aggregate medical benefits expenditure that may be made from the fund may not exceed $100,000 for any single claim regardless of whether the claim arises from an injury or an occupational disease.

(4) The amounts necessary for the payment of benefits from the fund are statutorily appropriated, as provided in 17-7-502, from the fund.

History: En. 92-212 by Sec. 4, Ch. 550, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 92-212(part); amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 464, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 64, Ch. 613, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 555, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 516, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 310, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 35, Ch. 422, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 377, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 18, Ch. 389, L. 1999; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 193, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 48, L. 2007.