The Trial Lawyer's Journal [Free Download]

CloudLex logo

What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?

What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?

Maximum medical improvement, frequently abbreviated to ‘MMI,’ is a term used when a person’s condition has reached a plateau where no available treatment can improve it. Therefore, any current disability and limitation are going to be permanent.

At the workplace, maximum medical improvement means that any work restrictions currently in place cannot be changed. If you are the person facing this condition, you will be eligible for a workers’ compensation program. The risk management department of your company will determine whether or not they can find you an alternative position within 30 days. If they fail to find such work, you will be referred to a vocational rehabilitation counselor.

  • MMI, or maximum medical improvement, means that a person’s condition has reached the best it will ever get. No more medical knowledge is available to make the situation better.
  • A person’s workplace should be in a position to offer modified or alternative work to suit the person’s new permanent state.
  • If modified work cannot be found when an employee has reached maximum medical improvement, they will need to get advice from a vocational rehabilitator to forge a way forward.

What is the maximum medical improvement workers’ compensation?

MMI is one of the words used to define workers’ compensation following work-related injuries. However, the most commonly used term is maximum medical improvement or MMI. But accident victims rely on appropriate reimbursement from workers’ compensation insurance to cover their medical bills. So, reaching MMI places even greater pressure on the victim to make the best financial decisions.

For employers to safeguard their employees, workers’ compensation insurance is required by law. When a worker gets injured on the job, workers’ compensation pays for their health expenses as well as a percentage of their income loss.

Most employees with mild injuries can easily handle their workers’ compensation claims on their own. Those who have suffered more severe injuries and are unable to work for an extended period will require the assistance of an attorney. The laws governing workers’ compensation are complicated. They may even need legal document management software just to keep track of their case.

This situation is worse if they reach MMI because they know they will not get any better and have to survive. A single error could leave an injured employee without the financial support required to treat their injury.

How does an employee get maximum medical improvement payout?

You can apply for a Permanent Partial Disability award once you have attained maximum medical improvement (MMI). If you choose to file for such an award, you must submit to a medical examination to evaluate the level of your disability.

This appointment is critical because your permanent partial disability award will depend on the impairment rating assigned to you by the examiner. You have 20 days to object to the examiner’s assessment. Workers can also request an increase in their handicap impairment rating, but they must complete another exam.

What happens after MMI in workers’ compensation?

After getting an MMI rating on your disability, you will go to a risk management consultant. Most companies should have one. The risk management consultant will work with the company to find alternative work conditions. This modified work will enable you to keep working with your disability in a way that works for both you and the company.

If the risk management consultant cannot find modified work, they will refer you to a vocational rehabilitation center. At the vocational rehabilitation center, you will be given counseling on adapting to your new reality, working through new career options, and getting support on retaining and advancing in jobs.

Maximum medical improvement example

Take a case where a worker injures their fingers at a software development company. The worker had an accident while working on a code in the office.

After a year, the doctors say that they have done all they can and the worker can only perform gross motor activities like carrying a mug or dressing , not typing. They cannot code as they are used to. However, the client’s mental capabilities are perfect.

They, therefore, attain maximum medical improvement. The risk management officer offers them the position of internal coordination and conducting quality assessments of existing code.

See CloudLex in action

Discover why thousands of PI attorneys choose CloudLex

Whether you're a new firm branching out or are an established national practice, our diverse range of custom packages caters to the specific needs of personal injury law firms, ensuring you have the precise tools to optimize your operations, increase productivity and deliver superior client experiences.

Try CloudLex