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How does Montana workers' compensation account for wage loss?

When a Montana worker is a work accident victim, one of the main concerns that will occupy his or her mind after the fact is the medical issue itself and recovering from it. However, there is also the issue of loss of wages from being unable to work. The recovery from injury can be hindered by rushing back to the job before the injury has sufficiently healed. Understanding how workers' compensation benefits can help to cover lost wages is key to taking the time to recover properly.

It is up to the medical professionals to determine when a worker can get back to work. If the doctor does not allow the worker to get back to work due to the injury or condition and the claim has been approved by the workers' compensation insurer, it is possible to receive wage loss benefits. For those who are able to receive workers' compensation, there will be no payments for the first four days or 32 hours of lost wages - whichever is lower. The benefits will begin with the fifth day or the 33rd hour. A person who is totally disabled and cannot work for 21 days or more can receive retroactive compensation from the first day in which there was total wage loss. There could be other rules depending on the use of vacation time, paid time off or sick days.

If the person is not able to work for a longer period, it might be possible to receive temporary total disability (TTD) until it is decided that the maximum amount of medical improvement has been reached and the worker can get back to work. It is possible to receive as much as 66 2/3 percent of the gross wages from the time at which the injury occurred. The maximum total for this is $756 per week. The payments will be available after the aforementioned four days and 32 hours of wage loss. Those who receive Social Security disability benefits might have their benefits lowered by as much as half of the Social Security benefits.

When suffering an injury at work, the person who was hurt needs to understand how lost wages can be mitigated through workers' compensation benefits. If there is any confusion or a problem with receiving the benefits, it is important to contact a legal professional who is experienced in helping those who have been injured at work with their workers' compensation benefits.

Source: erd.dli.mt.gov, "Workers' Compensation Benefits Summary For dates of injury occurring on or after July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 -- Wage Loss," accessed on Nov. 2, 2016

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