Serving Ohio's Injured Workers since 1993
What is MMI?
As an injured worker, you may reach a point in your recovery called maximum medical improvement (MMI). This means your condition has stabilized and further functional improvement is unlikely despite continued medical treatment or physical rehabilitation. For example, if you lose an eye as a result of an accident, continued medical treatment will not restore it. MMI refers to your allowed conditions and is not related to your ability to return to work. Under Ohio’s workers’ compensation law, once the physician of record determines you have reached MMI, BWC must terminate temporary total (TT) compensation. However, medical treatment needed to maintain the stability of your condition may continue in your claim. If at a future date you become temporarily and totally disabled, you may be entitled to TT benefits again.
How is MMI determined?
MMI is determined in one of three ways:
1) Physician of record determines MMI — He or she submits information to BWC. Then, BWC issues an order terminating TT on the date your physician indicates.
2) The independent medical examination (IME) report states you have reached MMI — BWC will send a copy of the medical report to your physician of record, you, your employer and all representatives. BWC will follow up with your physician to see if he or she agrees with the medical exam. If your physician agrees, BWC will issue an order terminating TT on the date of your exam or the date your physician gives BWC his or her agreement.
3) The Industrial Commission of Ohio (IC) determines MMI — If your physician does not agree with the IME report, BWC will refer your claim to the IC for a final MMI decision. The IC will notify you, your employer and all representatives of the date, time and location of the hearing. You may continue to receive TT up to the date of the hearing, as long as medical evidence supports the disability is due to your work-related injury.
A finding of MMI can be appealed, but the law imposes strict deadlines for doing so. Contact our office for help at the number listed below.
What happens next?
If your TT compensation ends because of MMI, you may be entitled to other benefits such as:
Rehabilitation — You may be entitled to a variety of return-to-work programs, including rehabilitation services;
Wage loss — If, because of physical restrictions resulting from your work-related injury, you return to work at a lower wage or with less hours, you may be eligible for working wage loss. If you cannot find a job within your physical limitations, you may be eligible for nonworking wage loss;
Percentage of permanent partial disability — BWC provides compensation for permanent partial damage that results from the work-related injury;
Lump sum settlement — You may be able to receive a lump sum payment for your claim(s);
Permanent total disability — If you cannot return to any form of employment because of your work related injury, you may be eligible for permanent total benefits. The IC makes this decision.
For more information on maximum medical improvement, click here.
Law Office of Thomas Tootle Co., LPA
743 Oak St., Columbus, OH 43205
(866) 583-0348 * (614) 228-6484 (fax)
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