Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 29. Workers' Compensation Judge

Increase In Award For Unreasonable Delay Or Refusal To Pay

39-71-2907. Increase in award for unreasonable delay or refusal to pay. (1) The workers' compensation judge may increase by 20% the full amount of benefits due a claimant during the period of delay or refusal to pay, when:

(a) the insurer agrees to pay benefits but unreasonably delays or refuses to make the agreed-upon payments to the claimant; or

(b) prior or subsequent to the issuance of an order by the workers' compensation judge granting a claimant benefits, the insurer unreasonably delays or refuses to make the payments.

(2) The question of unreasonable delay or refusal shall be determined by the workers' compensation judge, and such a finding constitutes good cause to rescind, alter, or amend any order, decision, or award previously made in the cause for the purpose of making the increase provided herein.

(3) A finding of unreasonableness under this section does not constitute a finding that the insurer acted in bad faith or violated the unfair trade practices provisions of Title 33, chapter 18.

History: En. 92-849 by Sec. 3, Ch. 537, L. 1975; R.C.M. 1947, 92-849; amd. Sec. 5, Ch. 63, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 61, Ch. 464, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 174, L. 1991.