(1) The procedure for determining whether lump sum conversion of permanent disability biweekly payments will be approved is generally defined in 39-71-741 , MCA.
(2) The conversion can only be made upon written application of the injured worker or the worker's beneficiary, with the concurrence of the insurer, subject to the discretionary approval of the department as to the amount of the lump sum payment and the advisability of the conversion.
(3) It is presumed that biweekly payments are in the best interests of the worker or his beneficiary. The approval of an application for lump sum conversion by the department must be the exception, not the rule, and may be given only if the worker or his beneficiary demonstrates that his ability to sustain himself financially is more probable with a whole or partial lump sum conversion than with the biweekly payments and his other resources.
(4) Permanent partial conversions must meet the requirements of (3) above. Permanent total conversions must meet the test of (3) above plus all other requirements provided herein. These rules do not apply to lump sums of accrued benefits, impairment awards, or disputed liability settlements where no recognition is ever made of benefits due.
(5) Controversies between claimants and insurers regarding a conversion to a lump sum or a denial of approval of a conversion to a lump sum by the department, are considered disputes for which the workers' compensation judge has jurisdiction to make a decision.
(6) Lump sum settlement agreements reached prior to April 15, 1985, will be allowed and approved, or denied, under provisions of 39-71-741 , MCA, in effect before enactment of Senate Bill 281. Section 39-71-741 , MCA, as amended, will be applied to all lump sum settlements reached on or after April 15, 1985. An injured worker or his beneficiary submitting a lump sum settlement reached before April 15, 1985, must provide to the department a written statement that agreement was reached before April 15, 1985.