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Disability benefits can end when Social Security starts: Court


HELENA, Mont.—A law ending permanent total disability benefits when workers compensation claimants become eligible for Social Security Retirement Insurance does not violate Montana’s constitution, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

Catherine Satterlee vs. Lumberman’s Mutual Casualty Co. involved claimants who argued the state statute denied them workers comp benefits because of their age.

But the Supreme Court said workers comp benefits are meant to assist permanently and totally disabled employees throughout their work life and not into their retirement years.

The high court’s ruling upholds a 2006 Workers Compensation Court finding that sided with employers and insurers.