Benefits: Medical Benefits: Handicap Accessible Vans

Simms v. Montana State Fund [3/15/04] 2004 MTWCC 27 Under the 1997 version of the Montana Workers' Compensation Act, an insurer is not required to provide a claimant with a handicap accessible van to enable him to go to and from medical appointments. 39-71-704(1)(d), MCA (1997).

Simms v. Montana State Fund [3/15/04] 2004 MTWCC 27 An insurer is not required to provide a claimant with a handicap accessible van under the general medical benefits provisions of the Montana Workers' Compensation Act where the claimant failed to show that a van constitutes necessary and reasonable medical treatment for his condition. The fact that a van would make it more convenient for him to go out from his home and that going out would contribute in a general fashion to his mental health does not establish medical necessity for a van, especially where the claimant owns a car, is able to do a standing transfer to and from the car, and uses the car several times a month. Moreover, a request for a van must be considered in the context of other transportation alternatives. An insurer is not required to provide a Rolls Royce where a Chevy is adequate.