You may read about maximum medical improvement on some paperwork from your workers’ compensation doctor. Like many medical terms, you may wonder what it means. You probably wonder how it will affect your workers’ compensation benefits.
Maximum medical improvement (or MMI for short) means that your injury is basically “as good as it is going to get”. You will often have permanent work restrictions. You will likely have a permanent partial disability rating as well.
Will I continue receiving temporary total disability benefits after I reach maximum medical improvement?
Workers’ compensation laws vary by state. Under the laws of some states, temporary total disability benefits may stop or decrease after you reach maximum medical improvement. In Georgia, reaching maximum medical improvement does not affect your right to receive temporary total disability benefits. Those benefits continue while you are out of work as a result of your injury unless your benefits stop for some other reason.
Can I get medical treatment after I reach maximum medical improvement?
Yes. Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, you can continue getting medical treatment after you reach maximum medical improvement.
The insurance company might try to argue that you do not need medical treatment since you cannot really get better. They are wrong.
Georgia law requires the insurance company to pay for medical treatment that will help cure you or give you relief. Even if you have reached maximum medical improvement, you still may need treatment to relieve and reduce your pain. Also, the doctor may still have treatment to offer which could improve your condition.
If my work injury causes me permanent impairment, do I receive any benefits from the insurance company for that?
Yes. Georgia workers’ compensation law pays three types of benefits. In addition to wage loss benefits and medical benefits, the insurance company should pay you permanent partial disability benefits for your permanent impairment. The amount of the benefits will depend upon a percent rating given to you by a doctor using the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
If you would like to find out more about permanent partial disability benefits, just read this article that discusses those benefits in much more detail.
Am I entitled to a settlement after reaching maximum medical improvement?
Many people ask me this question. It is a good question to ask. You are not “entitled” to a settlement, but the insurance company will probably want to settle your case. I discuss this more in the video below:
Maximum medical improvement could be a good time to consider settlement of your case. Settlement is simply an agreement that you reach with the insurance company. If you settle, you give up your case in exchange for the insurance company paying you a negotiated amount of money.
You need to know that settlement of your case is final. You will not be able to go back and change your mind once the settlement has been approved. I would recommend you put some serious thought into settlement before deciding to move forward.