Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is a concept that can be confusing for many injured employees. It may also become a huge issue if it affects your workers’ compensation. The thought of your workers’ compensation being stopped because of MMI can be worrisome, but if this happens, you have options.
What is Maximum Medical Improvement?
MMI refers to the point at which an injured employee’s condition has stabilized and further medical treatment or physical rehabilitation will have little to no effect on their improvement. The only person who can determine MMI is the physician treating the injured employee. However, an employer can request an Independent Medical Examination (IME) by a qualified physician.
Total temporary compensation may be terminated if the treating physician agrees with the Independent Medical Examination. However, if the treating physician does not agree with the Independent Medical Examination, the claim may be taken to a Workers’ Compensation Judge for a hearing.
What are Impairment Ratings?
In Pennsylvania impairment ratings are evaluations used to determine just how injured an employee is as a result of their workplace accident. In many instances this is to limit the injured employee’s wage loss benefits if it is found that a person’s injury is less than a certain percentage. Normally this percentage is 35 percent or less.
An Impairment Rating Evaluation can be requested after an employee has received 104 weeks of temporary total disability payments in addition to reaching maximum medical improvement.
Workers’ Compensation Settlement
In Pennsylvania, the earliest you can settle your claim is four months after the date of your injury. However, most injured employees wait to settle their claim until after a physician rules that they have reached MMI. It is important to keep in mind that when you settle a workers’ compensation claim you give up your right to all workers’ compensation benefits for a specified sum of money. This money may be paid in a lump sum or in payments ranging from monthly, annually, or over the course of a few years.
Going Back to Work While Still Recovering
Sometimes an employee is forced to return to work after a physician rules that they have reached maximum medical improvement. However, just because you have reached MMI does not mean you are able to complete work tasks you were able to do before your accident. The best thing you can do in this situation is talk to your employer about any adjustments that can be made. If that does not work, you may need to contact a lawyer.
Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Handle Disputes Regarding Maximum Medical Improvement
If you or someone you know is in the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim, contact a Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our experienced lawyers will help you file a claim and will fight for the compensation you deserve for your suffering. For a free consultation, contact us online or by phone at 888-PITT-LAW.
We proudly represent injured workers in Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, and throughout Pennsylvania, including those in the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, Downingtown, Doylestown, Drexel Hill, Essington, Folcroft, Glenolden, Haverford, Havertown, Holmes, Kutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.