Montana Workers Compensation Law: What You Need to Know

March 9 2023

In Montana, employers are required to provide workers’ compensation benefits for employees injured or made ill due to their job. Employers must also provide benefits for family members of those who have died from an illness or injury related to their job.

Overview of Montana Workers Compensation Law

Montana workers’ compensation law is designed to provide medical and disability benefits to injured employees. The state’s program helps cover lost wages and provides necessary medical care for workers who suffer an illness or injury that arises out of or in the course of employment. It acts as a trade-off – employers are liable for the costs of any injuries, but in return, employees surrender the right to sue their employer for damages resulting from a workplace injury.

Under Montana law, every business with one or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This means that all full-time, part-time, and temporary employees are covered, with some exceptions including independent contractors, members of religious organizations and agricultural laborers. Benefits are available to an employee regardless of fault or negligence when a job-related illness or injury occurs.

The types and duration of benefits due under Montana’s law varies depending on whether the hurt worker has suffered a temporary disability or a permanent total disability. Temporarily disabled workers are entitled to weekly payments equal to two/thirds of their normal wages while they’re off work plus medical expense reimbursements related to their treatment and recovery. Permanent disabilities entitle workers to compensation related to both lost earning capacity and past wages.

The availability of certain benefits can be debated by both the hurt employee and his employer, especially when it comes to the seriousness of an injury and amount of compensation it may deserve. This can lead to disputes between employees, their attorneys, attorneys representing their employer and representatives from relevant insurance companies concerning the ultimate outcome of a particular case.

Regardless of how quickly these disputes might be resolved at the beginning, such hearings can often become involved if pre-established criteria is not met in terms of awarding compensation for an occupational injury or illness. Workers should always seek legal advice about filing a claim against their employer’s insurance company if there is a disagreement over any aspect of receiving those benefits.

It is important for businesses in Montana to know their rights and responsibilities under the state’s Workers’ Compensation act since ignorance cannot be used as a defense in any lawsuit claiming improper coverage or benefit payouts after an injury has occurred on their premises. With that in mind, this article will now move on to discuss who is covered under Montana workers’ compensation law.

Who is Covered Under Montana Workers Compensation Law?

Pursuant to Montana law, most employees who receive payment from an employer in exchange for work performed in Montana are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This includes both full-time and part-time employees, as well as contractual staff members and independent contractors. In addition, employers are required to provide coverage for their family members working on their business’s premises.

The eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation can vary significantly depending on the job. Generally speaking, employees who work in jobs that involve manual labor or hazardous activities are more likely to be covered than those working in office environments; however, this is not a hard and fast rule. Additionally, it is important to note that Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants over age 40 when determining eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

It is important to note that while most employees are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage, some are not. Generally speaking, individuals who are employed by government agencies or through the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA) are not covered under state law; however, they may be eligible for special federal programs instead. Additionally, certain types of workers such as unpaid interns and volunteers are typically not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage as well.

In conclusion, many employees who work and receive payment from an employer in exchange for services performed in Montana are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under state law. There are some exceptions to this general rule and it is important to consult with a qualified attorney if you have questions about whether or not you qualify. Now we will discuss what benefits the Montana Workers Compensation Law offers.

  • In Montana, most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and all employees are eligible for benefits regardless of fault.
  • To be eligible for workers’ compensation in Montana, an employee must suffer a work-related injury or illness that causes more than three days of missed work.
  • According to the State of Montana Unemployment Insurance Law, employers must report any workplace incidents that require medical treatment beyond first aid within seven days of that incident.

What Benefits Does Montana Workers Compensation Offer?

Montana Workers Compensation offers a variety of benefits to those who become injured or ill on the job. Depending on the circumstances, these benefits may include payments for lost wages while the worker is healing, compensation for medical expenses related to the injury or illness, and permanent disability payments. While these benefits are a vital part of any employee’s financial security after an accident or illness, there are a few drawbacks as well.

One major drawback of Montana Workers Compensation is that all wage replacement benefits are limited to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage before the incident occurred. This leaves many workers unable to make up for the full amount of wages they were earning before their injury or illness, making it difficult for them to cover living expenses and other costs of daily life. Additionally, if a worker’s job did not pay very well in the first place and his or her average weekly wage was below the median wage in Montana, then they will receive even less in terms of wage replacement.

Another possible drawback is that medical expenses related to an injury or illness may not always be fully covered by Montana Workers Compensation. In some situations, insurance co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs may not be reimbursed. Furthermore, if a workplace incident results in lifelong disabilities, such as amputation or paralysis, then much more compensation may be necessary to adequately compensate the victim than what Montana Workers Compensation generally provides.

Despite the potential drawbacks described above, Montana Workers Compensation still provides important protection to employees who become injured or ill during their working hours. Next we will take a closer look at what kind of medical care is available under this program.

Medical Care

Medical Care is a key component of the Montana Workers Compensation system. It helps ensure that an injured worker receives timely and adequate medical care. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, an injured worker may be eligible for certain medical treatments and benefits, including costs for hospital stays, surgeries, prescription medications, physical rehabilitation sessions, doctor appointments, and other necessary medical services.

There are a few different criteria that must be met in order for an injured worker to qualify for medical treatment under Montana Workers Compensation Law. First, their injury must have been caused by a work-related incident or situation. Second, the injury must be severe enough to cause significant disability or impairment. Lastly, it must be related to the job duties or activities performed at work.

Employers will usually pay for any medical expenses related to a workplace injury up to a pre-determined limit. Once this limit is reached, the injured worker can pursue additional coverage through their insurance company or through Social Security Disability benefits. However, they must meet certain qualifications before they can qualify for these benefits.

It is important to note that there are some limits on what medical treatments are covered under Montana Workers Compensation Law. For example, treatments considered “experimental” or “cosmetic” in nature are generally not covered by workers compensation insurance plans. Additionally, employers cannot refuse to cover treatments because they believe them to be unneeded; they must obtain consent from the injured employee prior to declining coverage of any medical treatment.

When it comes to medical care under Montana Workers Compensation Law, it is important to understand all your rights as an injured worker. You should seek legal advice if you have questions about what treatments are covered and what is expected of you with regard to filing a claim for benefits.

Lost Wages is another important component of Montana Workers Compensation Law that helps employees who are unable to work due to a workplace injury receive financial assistance to help with lost wages and other costs associated with their recovery. In the next section we will explore Lost Wages in more detail and discuss how it can affect an injured worker’s ability to return to work after a workplace injury.

Lost Wages

When an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of their job in Montana, they may be entitled to receive compensation for any lost wages. In general, workers who have sustained a physical injury or contracted a disease because of their job are eligible for a variety of benefits and services, including temporary total disability benefits. These benefits provide compensation for lost wages at a rate of two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage.

Lost wages typically cover the period of time in which an employee is temporarily disabled, unable to work, and receiving medical care due to the job-related injury. The amount of compensation available will depend on the circumstances surrounding the injury and how long it takes before the employee can return to regular duty. It should be noted that there are some opposition to Montana’s workers compensation law which argue that employers can avoid making payments by misclassifying employees as independent contractors. However, regardless of employment status, employer must follow the law and pay any valid claims for lost wages if there is an accident or injury on the job.

Ultimately, filing a claim for Montana Workers Compensation can help employees recover lost wages after experiencing a job related injury or illness. The next section will discuss the steps involved in filing such a claim.

Filing a Claim for Montana Workers Compensation

Filing a claim for Montana workers’ compensation is an important step in seeking financial compensation and/or medical treatment benefits when an employee has been injured at work. When filing a claim, all relevant information should be gathered and included, along with a completed “Notice of Injury” form. A worker typically has a two-year period to file a Notice of Injury that includes a description of the injury and how it happened.

When filing a claim, many employers will want to assign their employee designated health care providers and dispute the accuracy of their employee’s report. In some cases, an employer may contest the severity or even the existence of the injury. It is then ultimately up to the state Workers’ Compensation Court to decide whether or not the claim is valid. Ultimately, any resolution must comply with state laws governing workers’ compensation claims.

It is important for employees to understand their legal rights in this situation. Employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees who exercise their right to file a workers’ compensation claim by terminating them or failing to promote them on account of their injury or claim. At the same time, employers have the right to dispute a worker’s claims if they believe it was not caused by workplace conditions or activities that would trigger coverage under Montana’s Workers’ Compensation law.

In some cases, disputes can end without having had to go through litigation, such as through mediation or arbitration agreements. However, if both sides cannot come to an agreement outside of court proceedings, the case must go before a judge for resolution.

The next section will discuss How the Process Works when filing a claim for Montana Workers Compensation.

How the Process Works

When it comes to the process of filing a workers compensation claim in Montana, there are certain steps and regulations that must be followed. The first step is to contact the Montana Department of Labor & Industry’s Workers’ Compensation Division, or alternatively a local workers’ compensation insurance company, to begin a workers’ compensation claim.

The claimant – the party filing the injury report – must provide proof of employment as well as all relevant details pertaining to their injury, such as when and where it occurred. Following this, the claimant may schedule a meeting with a representative from the department or insurance company in order to take part in a formal hearing. During this hearing, both parties will discuss matters including compensatory and medical benefits; any disputes over these topics may be settled through civil court if an agreement cannot be reached beforehand.

After filing their paperwork, claimants should receive notification from the department or insurance company regarding their status within 10 days. If approved for benefits, instructions will be provided on how to access them and any other pertinent information related to medical care associated with their injuries.

In addition to physical injuries, some claims may include damages for mental anguish as well as economic losses suffered by the injured worker due to time off work for medical reasons caused by the injury. However, both parties need to understand that there are limitations governed by state law when filing claims of this nature; a full understanding of benefits and requirements is strongly advised before beginning the claims process.

No matter what type of injury has occurred while on the job in Montana, victims have a right to protection under workers’ compensation laws. It is important that they understand how they can receive justice and fair payment for their illness or injury given these regulations. To properly move forward with this process, it is also important that claimants are aware of how settlement negotiations work when dealing with a Montana workers’ compensation claim.

With that said, this section concludes with a look at settling a Montana workers’ compensation claim – the next section in this article about Montana Workers Compensation Law: What You Need to Know.

Settling a Montana Workers Compensation Claim

Settling a Montana Workers’ Compensation Claim

When an employee is injured on the job, they are entitled to certain benefits for those injuries under the Montana Workers’ Compensation Act (MWCA). The process of obtaining these benefits can take some time and if both parties agree, they can enter into a settlement agreement. A settlement agreement allows both the injured worker and the employer/insurer to avoid litigation and resolve the claim without having to go to court.

Conversely, a trial or court hearing is also an option which can be pursued if the employer and employee cannot agree on a settlement amount. Although settlements are generally preferred by both parties as it results in earlier compensation for the worker and ending any liability of the employer/insurer, there are pros and cons to each side that should be carefully considered before either party agrees to a settlement.

Pros and Cons of Settlements

For the Employee:


• Quicker resolution of the workers compensation claim with minimal court appearances

• More control over the outcome without relying entirely on a judge or jury decision

• Unlikely chance of going below legal minimums on benefits

• Can receive lump-sum compensation without having to wait for payments over long periods of time


• Less money overall than what would be awarded at a full trial

• Waiving protections if case needs to be reopened to seek additional treatment/benefits due to worsened condition

For the Employer/Insurer:


• Limit potential damages owed to employees by capping their payments in advance through a fixed lump sum payment.

• End any potential payout obligations quickly.


• Paying more in upfront costs than what would have been paid out over period of time in a weekly benefit setup.

• Chance that later medical issues changes could force reopening of case resulting in more costly payment obligations

Ultimately, settling a Montana workers’ compensation claim can be beneficial in that it provides a quicker resolution for both parties. However, both sides should consider all alternatives before signing off on any kind of settlement agreement as it will likely limit future financial awards while still providing full legal release from all claims related to injury.

Common Questions Explained

What type of documents do I need to file a workers compensation claim in Montana?

When filing a worker’s compensation claim in Montana, you must provide two primary documents: the Montana Workers’ Compensation Claim Form and the Employee Authorization Form. The Montana Workers’ Compensation Claim Form is used to initiate a claim and provide the necessary details of the injury or illness. This form should include supportive medical records and reports showing that the injury or illness qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. The Employee Authorization Form allows your employer and their workers’ compensation insurer to obtain medical treatment information regarding your condition to help determine eligibility for benefits. Both of these forms must be filled out accurately and returned to the relevant workers’ compensation board as soon as possible in order to begin the process of receiving benefits.

How long do I have to file a claim under Montana workers compensation law?

Under Montana workers compensation law, you have one year from the date of your injury to file a claim. This means that any claim must be filed within twelve months of the incident in order for it to be considered valid and eligible for benefits. It is important to note, however, that the statute of limitations for filing a workers compensation claim can vary depending on the situation. For example, if you are filing a claim due to a repetitive stress injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, then there is typically no time limit on when you must file your claim.

Furthermore, injured workers should also be aware that they may need to file a Notice of Accident/Claim at their job location within 30 days of their injury in order to receive benefits. Additionally, it is important to note that failure to notify your employer of an injury in this timeframe can result in denial of any future benefits related to the incident.

For those injured harmed in Montana due to a workplace accident or illness, it is highly recommended seeking medical attention and legal advice as soon as possible following the incident. Doing so can ensure that all proper paperwork is completed and filed with state authorities within the required deadlines and provides workers with an opportunity to better understand their rights under Montana’s workers compensation laws.

What specific benefits are offered under Montana workers compensation law?

Under Montana workers compensation law, injured employees have a right to receive benefits for medical expenses, lost wages, permanent disability, and death benefits.

Medical benefits are available to pay for all medically necessary treatment of the work-related injury or illness, such as doctor visits, medications, hospitalization, and rehabilitative services.

Lost wages benefits can be claimed if an employee suffers a temporary disability due to their work-related injury or illness. These benefits are usually equal to up to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage prior to the injury.

Permanent disability benefits are available for employees who suffer a disability due to their work injury or illness that cannot be completely healed and is expected to last permanently. These benefits are determined by the degree of the employee’s disability and are typically paid out in monthly installments or yearly lump sums.

Finally, death benefits can be claimed if an employee dies from their work-related injury or illness. These benefits are paid out to the employee’s dependents (like spouse and children) in order to help cover funeral costs and other financial losses related to the death of the employee.