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What Is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) in Workers’ Comp Cases?

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Posted By KSK Law | November 27 2023 | Workers' Comp

Filing a worker’s compensation claim can be complex and challenging, especially when grappling with a recent injury. From enduring painful physical symptoms and facing the reality of being unable to work to confronting significant financial hardship, these challenges can be overwhelming, deeply affecting your life and well-being.

A crucial concept in this journey is maximum medical improvement (MMI), a term that significantly impacts your case and benefits. Fully comprehending the implications of MMI is vital for anyone embroiled in a workers’ compensation claim, as it represents a defining moment in your journey toward recovery and achieving a fair resolution.

What Does It Mean to Reach Maximum Medical Improvement?

MMI refers to the point where your condition has stabilized, and no significant recovery or lasting improvement is reasonably expected. This assessment, often determined after an Independent Medical Examination or by your treating doctor, is not a declaration of complete recovery but a recognition that your condition has reached a plateau.

To officially designate an employee as having reached MMI, Minnesota healthcare providers must meet specific requirements. In most cases, your treating doctor will conduct an independent medical examination and later issue a report stating that you have reached this point.

This report must include a medical opinion from the doctor affirming that you have attained MMI as well as your identifying information, such as your name, Social Security Number, and date of service. Additionally, the report must be served on you, the employee, and your attorney.

Why Is MMI Important for Workers’ Compensation Claims?

MMI is a critical milestone in your workers’ compensation claim because it shapes the trajectory of your benefits. If you’re receiving temporary total disability (TTD) benefits when you reach MMI, they will typically continue for an additional 90 days. However, after this period, you will not continue to receive TTD unless you are medically unable to continue working or are participating in an approved retraining plan.

However, MMI does not necessarily halt all benefits. You will continue to receive benefits for your medical care, especially if you have developed a permanent disability. Permanent total disability benefits may also be available, depending on the specifics of your case. It is important to speak with an attorney to learn more about how MMI status could affect your case and, if necessary, how you could potentially contest your doctor’s decision.

Can You Return to Work Before Reaching MMI?

Returning to work before reaching MMI can be a delicate situation. It’s crucial to understand how this decision might affect your health and workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, returning to work is a collaborative decision involving your healthcare provider, employer, and possibly your Minnesota workers’ compensation attorney. These parties can help you assess whether your return is safe and appropriate given your medical condition and potential for benefits.

Speak to a Minnesota Workers’ Comp Attorney Today

If you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota, especially around issues like MMI, reaching out to an attorney can make a significant difference. A Minneapolis workers’ compensation lawyer can offer clarity, advocate for your rights, and fight for the benefits you deserve. After your injury, schedule a free legal consultation and learn how an attorney can help you navigate your claim with confidence.

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