Benefits: Termination of Benefits: Return to Work

Wallace v. State Fund [12/8/00] 2000 MT 310 Insurer not required to provide 14-day notice under section 39-71-609, MCA (1981) or otherwise comply with Coles criteria before terminating TTD benefits of injured worker who, following training in real estate sales, began work as a real estate salesman, received his first commission, and went on to average thirty hours a week in real estate sales while also performing spot jobs for the USDA.
Stancil v. MHA Workers' Compensation Trust [12/06/07] 2007 MTWCC 51 Where Petitioner’s employer appropriately placed him in transitional employment following his post-injury return to the workplace, Petitioner demonstrated the ability to perform the essential job functions of the position and was personally and professionally qualified to perform the position, and eventually accepted the position on a permanent basis, the Court held that Petitioner did not suffer an actual wage loss when he was discharged from his employment as a result of behavioral issues. Therefore, Petitioner is not entitled to PPD or rehabilitation benefits.
Vallance v. MCCF, 2006 MTWCC 15 [04/11/06] Where Petitioner voluntarily resigned his position with his time-of-injury employer after he was disciplined for refusing to perform tasks as part of a return-to-work program which fell within those activities allowed within his doctor's restrictions, he is ineligible for TPD or TTD benefits so long as he is released to perform the duties available to him in the return-to-work program.
Vallance v. MCCF, 2006 MTWCC 15 [04/11/06] Where Petitioner, while participating in a return-to-work program which modified his duties to meet his pre-medical stability restrictions, voluntarily resigned his position with his time-of-injury employer, he is not entitled to TTD benefits so long as he is released to perform the duties available to him in the return-to-work program.
Hedrick v. MACO Workers' Compensation Trust [01/18/06] 2006 MTWCC 3 Where Petitioner returns to work in a position not requiring the use of her injured hands, fails to seek other employment after she voluntarily quits her job and does not meet the requirements set forth in § 39-71-701, MCA (2001), Petitioner is not entitled to recover past disability benefits.
Kellberg v. Liberty NW Ins. Corp. [8/24/01] 2001 MTWCC 48 Where a claimant is released to return to work in a modified position and quits that position prior to maximum medical improvement but for reasons unrelated to his injury, he is not entitled to reinstatement of benefits until such time as the job would have become unavailable to him either because it would have ended or he had become physically unable to do the work.
Stacks v. Travelers/State Fund [3/1/01] 2001 MTWCC 9 Although the insurer conceded it failed to obtain the physician's determination required by Coles v. 7 Eleven Stores, Docket No. 2000, decided November 20, 1984, embraced by the Supreme Court in Wood v. Consolidated Freightways, Inc., 248 Mont. 26, 30, 808 P.2d 502, 505 (1991), after claimant's earlier injury, that insurer was not liable for temporary total disability benefits after claimant returned to work. See Larson v. Cigna Insurance Co., 276 Mont. 283, 294, 915 P.2d 863, 870 (1996).
Ranes v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co. [7/5/96] 1996 MTWCC 49 Where a claimant quits a modified job she was performing prior to reaching MMI because she is unable to do the work due to her injury, she requalifies for temporary total disability benefits under section 39-71-701(4), MCA (1993) because the modified job is no longer available to her.

Irish v. State Compensation Ins. Fund [4/10/95] 1995 MTWCC 26 Where claimant returned to work within a couple of weeks of his injury, and has worked continuously, section 92-615, R.C.M., 1947 (1977) does not operate to require retroactive benefits to claimant for failure to give notice of termination of biweekly benefits. Where claimant received only one check for benefits along with notice that the claim was accepted and this was claimant’s benefit entitlement, there was no interruption or cessation of ongoing benefits to trigger the obligation argued by claimant.