What Is Maximum Medical Improvement in a Workers' Compensation Claim?

“Maximum Medical Improvement,” for purposes of a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, means that your authorized treating physician has decided that your medical condition is not going to improve any further with medical treatment. This designation is significant, in that it moves your case forward to a new evaluation.

To get a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838.

What Happens When You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement in a Workers’ Compensation Claim

When you reach the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), it means one of two things:

  1. You have healed 100 percent from your work-related injury or illness; or
  2. You have not achieved your pre-injury/pre-illness health status, but your workers’ compensation doctor does not expect your condition to improve any further.

If you have entirely recuperated and have all the function and health you had before the injury or illness, you can go back to work at the same position. You will not receive further benefits for this injury or illness. On the other hand, if you have residual impairment or loss of function, you might be eligible for additional benefits.

Potential Georgia Workers’ Compensation Benefits After You Reach Maximum Medical Improvement

If you have continuing problems after completing medical treatment, you might fall into one of these categories:

  • You can return to your previous position and work the same number of hours as you did before. Depending on the nature of your injury, you might qualify for Permanent Partial Disability Benefits. Your workers’ compensation physician can perform a disability rating, and then calculate the amount of benefits you could receive.
  • You can return to work, but your residual problems cause you to take a lower-paying job or work fewer hours than before the injury or illness. You might be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits. TPD benefits will pay two-thirds of the difference in your previous average income and your current income. These benefits will last for up to 350 weeks from the date of injury or illness, after which, you can seek Permanent Partial Disability Benefits.
  • You cannot return to work because of the injury or illness, even with light duty and reduced hours. You can seek Temporary Total Disability Benefits, which pay two-thirds of your previous income for up to 400 weeks from the date of your non-catastrophic injury or illness. When your TTD benefits run out, you can seek a disability rating for Permanent Partial Disability Benefits.

A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You After Your Catastrophic Injury

If you sustained a life-changing injury or illness while on the job, it might meet the guidelines for a catastrophic injury. Severe burns, loss of limbs, and some other extremely severe injuries are catastrophic.

Even if your workers’ compensation doctor does not think you will ever be able to work again, you will get Temporary Total Disability Benefits as long as you cannot work, whether that is two years or two decades or longer. The 400-week limit for TTD benefits does not apply to catastrophic injuries.

If you can eventually return to work after a catastrophic injury, your TTD payments will stop. Contact S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for a free case review and consultation.

How Disability Ratings Work

You can request a disability rating from your authorized treating physician. If she decides that you qualify for a disability rating (not all injuries do), she will calculate the amount of your PPD benefits by plugging your disability rating into a formula with the current rate and the number of weeks that Georgia law assigns to your situation.

How to Get Legal Help with Your Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim

Getting shuffled from one category of benefits to another can be stressful and confusing. To learn more about maximum medical improvement in your workers' compensation claim, call S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838. We will give you a free consultation and explain your workers’ compensation benefits.