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Montana bill would give injured workers 100% of pay in disability benefits


Montana lawmakers have filed legislation that would increase the amount of total disability benefits for injured employees in workers compensation claims.

House Bill 923, which was pre-filed for Wednesday, would increase weekly compensation benefits for workers out on both temporary total disability and permanent total disability from the current 66 2/3% to 100% of the wages received at the time of injury.

The weekly benefit amount would not be subject to cost-of-living adjustments.

The proposal would also increase from 66 2/3% to 100% the weekly comp benefits given to beneficiaries in cases where workers die from their injuries and have surviving family members.

A provision in existing law that says the maximum weekly compensation benefit cannot exceed the state’s average weekly wage at the time of injury would remain in effect under the bill.

Meanwhile, a similar bill making its way through the legislature in Kansas is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday before the Senate Commerce Committee.

Senate Bill 38, which was introduced back in January, proposes to increase the statutory limit for maximum liability in injured worker disability claims.

The measure would increase an employer’s maximum liability from $155,000 to $350,000 in cases of permanent total disability, temporary total disability, temporary partial disability and permanent partial disability.