If you have been receiving workers' comp benefits for a while, you may soon be asked to undergo a special kind of medical exam. The results of this exam could affect your continued ability to receive those valuable benefits, like a portion of your pay and related medical expenses. You cannot expect the workers' comp insurance to pay you these benefits forever, at least not at this level. Read on to learn more about the next level of workers' comp: maximum medical improvement (MMI).
What is meant by maximum medical improvement?
The insurance has a pretty good idea of how long you need to be out of work for your medical issue, and if you are still unable to work at your job after a certain time, they will want to know more. You will be examined by a doctor of the insurance carrier's choice, and the results can be one of the following three possibilities:
1. You may be able to return to work after a little more time has passed. Your present benefits will continue for now.
2. You are healed enough to return to your job, and must do so or lose your job.
3. You are not going to heal enough to return to your job and no further improvement is likely. This is known as maximum medical improvement (MMI).
What does a ruling of maximum improvement mean to my claim?
You can say that a ruling of MMI is the same thing as having a permanent injury. It doesn't mean that you no longer require or are qualified to receive medical treatment, however. You can expect your compensation to enter a new phase, and the benefits you end up receiving from here on out depend on several factors, such as your age, education level, and more. Often, you will be offered a lump sum settlement amount, but that can vary. It's important to understand that what you get in compensation at this point is a point of negotiation, and careful thought must go into considering not only what you need right now, but how you will fare for the rest of life.
If you have not needed the services of a workers' comp attorney up to now, you should consider that now. You need someone who knows what you need and what is available in your particular state. You may be entitled to continued medical care, regular or lump sum monetary payments, rehabilitation and retraining, and more.
Be sure not to jump at the first offer, consult with an attorney, such as those at Freedman, Wagner, Tabakman & Weiss, to get the full and fair compensation package.