Montana Title 39. Labor § 39-71-721. Compensation for injury causing death--limitation

(1)(a) If an injured employee dies and the injury was the proximate cause of the death, the beneficiary of the deceased is entitled to the same compensation as though the death occurred immediately following the injury.  A beneficiary's eligibility for benefits commences after the date of death, and the benefit level is established as set forth in subsection (2).

(b) The insurer is entitled to recover any overpayments or compensation paid in a lump sum to a worker prior to death but not yet recouped.  The insurer shall recover the payments from the beneficiary's biweekly payments as provided in 39-71-741(5) .

(2) To beneficiaries as defined in 39-71-116(4)(a) through (4)(d) , weekly compensation benefits for an injury causing death are 66 2/3 % of the decedent's wages.  The maximum weekly compensation benefit may not exceed the state's average weekly wage at the time of injury.  The minimum weekly compensation benefit is 50% of the state's average weekly wage, but in no event may it exceed the decedent's actual wages at the time of death.

(3) To beneficiaries as defined in 39-71-116(4)(e) and (4)(f) , weekly benefits must be paid to the extent of the dependency at the time of the injury, subject to a maximum of 66 2/3 % of the decedent's wages.  The maximum weekly compensation may not exceed the state's average weekly wage at the time of injury.

(4) If the decedent leaves no beneficiary, a lump-sum payment of $3,000 must be paid to the decedent's surviving parent or parents.

(5) If any beneficiary of a deceased employee dies, the right of the beneficiary to compensation under this chapter ceases.  Death benefits must be paid to a surviving spouse for 500 weeks subsequent to the date of the deceased employee's death or until the spouse's remarriage, whichever occurs first.  After benefit payments cease to a surviving spouse, death benefits must be paid to beneficiaries, if any, as defined in 39-71-116(4)(b) through (4)(d) .

(6) In all cases, benefits must be paid to beneficiaries.

(7) Benefits paid under this section may not be adjusted for cost of living as provided in 39-71-702 .

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