Montana Courts Uphold Workers’ Comp Cutoff Age

November 5, 2009

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld a state law that allows insurance companies to cut off worker’s compensation payments for those suffering permanent total disability when the disabled party is of retirement age.

The 5-2 ruling Tuesday said worker’s compensation benefits for permanently and totally disabled workers are meant to assist them for their “work life,” and not into retirement. The court ruled a state law ending those benefits for disabled workers when they are eligible for Social Security payments is constitutional.

Officials with the Montana State Fund, which writes worker’s compensation insurance for about 27,000 businesses, said a decision in favor of the workers could cost the fund as much as $300 million for current and future claims, leading to a rate increase.

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