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What happens if you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2023 | Workers' Compensation |

Work-related injuries or diseases entitle you to Illinois workers’ compensation system benefits. While seeking medical treatment, your doctor may inform you that you are officially stable and no longer require further treatment. This critical moment is known as reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). Learning about the nature of MMI proves vital in establishing your eligibility for benefits.

MMI defined

MMI is when your treating physician determines that your condition, after a thorough assessment, will not get any better or worse. It can mean a range of scenarios for you – complete healing, permanent disability without a chance of full recovery or partial disability with an opportunity to return to work.

Only your licensed physician can determine your MMI date. However, your employer’s insurance carrier will most likely request an independent medical examination from their physician. Both physicians can agree with the results. But if they contradict each other, a court hearing may ensue.

Once MMI is final, the following factors can add up:

  • The total cost of your medical bills
  • Your capacity to return to your work position before the accident
  • The severity of your injury and its corresponding disability benefits
    • Temporary Partial Disability: If you are capable of taking on light tasks
    • Temporary Total Disability: If you are unable to return to work while recovering
    • Permanent Partial Disability: If some of your body parts lose function
    • Permanent Total Disability: If both sides of your hands, legs, eyes, feet and arms lose function
    • Death and burial: Your surviving family or dependents receive compensation

A calculation of your impairment rating determines your functional capabilities and chances of relapse. So, you should think it through before accepting any settlement offer from your employer’s insurance carrier if there is no conclusive MMI yet.

Not settling for less

It would help you in the long run if you prioritize matters concerning your own safety at work. In the event your condition worsens, negotiating a fair settlement is only necessary. You may seek a higher amount for your future medical needs if you have a legal resource to turn to, adept with the ins and outs of how MMI affects your situation.