Understanding Maximum Medical Improvement

xrayWhen you are injured at work or become ill due to your working conditions, workers compensation law permits you to receive appropriate compensation for your injuries. In determining what compensation is appropriate and for what length of time, doctors and workers compensation case managers both look closely at one particular determining factor: maximum medical improvement. What does maximum medical improvement mean? In short, it is the term used to describe what your doctor believes to be the most recovery you can expect from your injury or illness. When you reach this state and are still compromised, and after waiting the statutory 26 week waiting time, a permanent partial disability (PPD) claim may be possible for you. The state of Maximum Medical Improvement is a significant change in your medical care, as it marks the transition from temporary impairment to permanent impairment.

The Process for Obtaining Permanent Partial Disability

After you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), you can apply for a Permanent Partial Disability award. If you choose to file for such an award, Ohio BWC requires workers to undergo a medical examination to determine the extent of your disability. This appointment is important, as your permanent partial disability award will be based on the impairment rating that the examiner assigns to you. You can object to the examiner’s assessment within 20 days. Workers can also request an increase of the disability impairment rating, but they’ll be required to take another exam.

Short-Term, Long-Term and Permanent Disability

Workers compensation benefits and disability insurers look to understand the extent of your injuries or illness and how long it will impair you from performing your work at the same degree of ability as you did prior. Temporary total disability benefits are designed to be paid while you are unable to return to your old job due to the workplace injury. When your doctor determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement but you still aren’t able to return to work at the same capacity as prior to the injury or illness, call our SSDI lawyers here at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. to discuss your options for filing permanent total disability or permanent partial disability.

What does it mean to reach a plateau?

In your process of recovery, the plateau of treatment is a state in which medical care is not changing your condition. This could mean you are deemed fully recovered. This could also mean that your injuries or condition are such that the disability — or the impaired function — will persist at approximately the same level of intensity.

No matter what the rehabilitation may involve, medically you are considered to have arrived at your permanent state of ability after the illness or accident. If no further healing or improvement is considered to be possible, an assessment takes place. Your assessment may demonstrate that you have permanent impairment, or partial impairment.

This will affect the types of benefits the Bureau of Workers Compensation is allowed to grant you. Treatment options have been attempted and employed, and those treatments have run their course. At this stage, the temporary disability payments end.

Sites like WorkersCompensation.com are designed to help answer questions about Maximum Medical Improvement, as well as other information about Workers Compensation claims. Regulations and statues are organized by state, and resources are listed for medical providers.

Our team of attorneys at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. is here to assist you, and can help provide answers for any of your questions regarding Maximum Medical Improvement.