Ohio’s workers’ compensation program covers expenses related to on-the-job injuries. When you’re recovering from an accident, you may reach “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). This means that your condition has improved as much as expected, and will likely not improve even with additional medical treatment.
When you reach maximum medical improvement, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) terminates temporary total disability—however, if you need continued medical treatment to maintain your medical stability, that may still be covered.
How does the BWC determine maximum medical improvement?
Maximum medical improvement can be determined in three ways. First, your BWC-approved physician may declare that you’ve reached MMI, and submit that information to the BWC. The BWC will then terminate total temporary disability as of that date.
Next, an independent medical examination can determine that you’ve reached MMI. The BWC sends a copy to your physician, your representatives and your employer. If your doctor agrees with the determination, the BWC will terminate temporary total disability at that time.
Finally, the Industrial Commission (IC) can rule on maximum medical improvement. If your doctor doesn’t agree with the independent medical examiner’s report, the BWC may send your claim to the IC for a final decision. At that point, they will schedule a hearing and notify you, your representatives and your employer. There are hard deadlines for appeals, so be sure to stay in contact with your Dworken & Bernstein workers’ compensation attorney.
Benefits after reaching maximum medical improvement
You may still be eligible for benefits, even after reaching MMI. For example, rehabilitative programs can help you return to work. If your medical restrictions from the accident cause you to lose hours or results in a reduced wage, you could be eligible for working wage loss—and if there are no jobs available with your new limitations, you could qualify for non-working wage loss.
The BWC also awards compensation for permanent partial or total disability. Finally, you may be able to receive a lump sum of money to settle your claim.
If you’ve been injured in an on-the-job accident, you don’t have to navigate the workers’ compensation claims process on your own. The attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein work hard to make sure their clients receive the compensation to which they are entitled. When you have issues with maximum medical improvement determinations, we can help! Call the workers’ compensation attorneys at Dworken & Bernstein today to discuss your work injury claims.