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How to Understand Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Montana: A Table of FAQ’s Published by DLI


The Montana Department of Labor & Industry publishes a Workers’ Compensation FAQ’s[1] Benefits Summary.  Here is a table containing DLI’s FAQs.

Question

Answer

I was injured on the job, which was reported to my employer, but a claim has not been filed. What can I do?

You may contact the Employment Relations Division, your local job service office for a claim form. If you do not know who to contact, call our office at (406) 444-6543 for assistance.

How do I find out the status of my claim?

You will need to contact the adjusting company responsible for managing your claim. If you do not know who to contact, call our office at (406) 444-6543 for assistance.

I was hurt on the job and my employer insisted I go to a medical clinic. Can I choose my own physician?

You may choose the treating physician for initial treatment. Any time after acceptance of liability by an insurer, they may designate a different treating physician, or approve your choice of the treating physician. The treating physician is responsible for the management and coordination of your medical care and must treat you within the recommendations of Montana’s Utilization and Treatment Guidelines.

My claims examiner has scheduled an appointment for me to be seen by another doctor. Do I have to attend this appointment?

Generally, yes, the examiner is allowed to schedule periodic independent medical evaluations (IME). The time and place for the examination, must take into consideration the employee’s convenience, physical condition, and ability to attend at the time and place that is as close to the employee’s residence as is practical.

I was injured at work and my employer does not have workers’ compensation coverage. What can I do?

Please contact our office at (406) 444-6543 and ask to speak with someone in our Uninsured Employer's Fund (UEF) for assistance. You will also need to complete a First Report of Injury and send that to the UEF.

Are workers’ compensation benefits taxable?

No.

Is my employer required to pay for my health insurance when I am off work due to a workers’ compensation claim?

This is not addressed in the Montana Workers’ Compensation Act. Contact your employer and/or your health insurance provider for information.

After I filed a claim, my employer fired / laid me off. Can they do that?

An employer may not use as grounds for terminating a worker the filing of a claim under the Workers’ Compensation Act. The district court has exclusive jurisdiction over disputes concerning the grounds for termination under this section. An employer may fill a position due to an employee being off work because of an injury. When an injured worker is capable of returning to work within 2 years from the date of injury and has received a medical release to return to work, the worker must be given a preference over other applicants for a comparable position that becomes vacant if the position is consistent with the worker’s physical condition and vocational abilities.

I was injured at work and feel my employer’s negligence was responsible for the accident. Can I collect workers’ compensation benefits and sue my employer?

Workers’ compensation is a “no fault” system. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is the injured workers’ exclusive remedy. Except as provided in part 5 of this chapter for uninsured employers and except as otherwise provided in the Workers' Compensation Act, an employer is not subject to any liability whatever for the death of or personal injury to an employee covered by the Workers' Compensation Act or for any claims for contribution or indemnity asserted by a third person from whom damages are sought on account of the injuries or death.

I was injured at work and feel there was negligence by a third party. Can I sue the third party?

Yes. The right to compensation and medical benefits is not affected by the fact that the injury, occupational disease, or death is caused by the negligence of a third party other than the employer or the servants or employees of the employer. Whenever injury, occupational disease, or death occurs to an employee while performing the duties of employment and the event is caused by the act or omission of some persons or corporations other than the employee’s employer or the servants or employees of the employee’s employer, the employee or in case of death the employee’s heirs or personal representative, in addition to the right to receive compensation, has a right to prosecute any cause of action that the employee or heirs may have for damages against the persons or corporations.

 

 


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