Limitations Periods: Rehabilitation Benefits

Kapor v. Liberty Mutual [3/14/03] 2003 MTWCC 22 Under 1995 law, claimant must begin a rehabilitation program within 78-weeks of reaching MMI. However, for the section to apply, the claimant must be eligible for benefits. Where claimant is not eligible at the time of MMI the period begins to run when she becomes eligible. 39-71-1006, MCA (1995).

Kapor v. Liberty Mutual [3/14/03] 2003 MTWCC 22 Where the claimant is eligible for rehabilitation benefits but the insurer notifies claimant of her entitlement to permanent partial disability benefits, including wage-loss benefits, without mention of rehabilitation benefits, the notice implicitly represents that the claimant is not entitled to rehabilitation benefits since wage-loss benefits are expressly tied to claimant's completion of a rehabilitation program, 39-71-703(8), MCA (1995). In light of that representation, claimant should be allowed to present evidence which may give rise to an estoppel from asserting the 78-week limitation period of section 39-71-1006(5), MCA.