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Workers' compensation wage loss benefits in Montana

When an employee is unable to work due to a workplace injury accident, lost wages are a major concern. Fortunately, Montana's workers' compensation system provides for various forms of wage loss benefits.

If your doctor says you can't return to work until you have recovered, you can make a claim for wage loss benefits. You can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits until you are able to return to work, or until your doctor says you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). These benefits are 66 2/3 percent of the gross wage you were getting at the time you were injured, up to a maximum of $708 a week. The benefits begin on the 5th day or 33rd hour of wage loss, whichever is earlier. If you have a total disability and are out of work for 21 days or more, the benefits for the initial period of wage loss can be paid retroactively.

If you can return to work but your duties are restricted due to your injury, and that results in a wage loss, you should be eligible for temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits. These benefits are equal to the difference between your gross wage at the time of the injury and the lower wage you receive for working with restrictions, up 40 hours a week and subject to the $708 weekly maximum.

If your doctor concludes you have reached MMI, still have a disability that qualifies for an impairment rating above a certain level, and have sustained a wage loss, you can make a claim for permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits. If you have reached MMI and can no longer work at all due to your injury or occupational disease, you may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.

This information is for general purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. An experienced Montana workers' compensation attorney can help if you have questions about your specific situation.

Source: Montana Department of Labor & Industry, "Workers' Compensation Benefits Summary," accessed Nov. 1, 2014

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