In workers’ compensation claims, one of the steps that often occurs is reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). This is an indication that you are not likely to see any additional improvement in your health or medical condition.
But what happens after you reach MMI in Georgia? Will you continue to receive benefits if you do not fully heal? For many, this is one of the scariest decisions because they may not feel they can return to work.
At John Foy & Associates, we put our 25 years of experience to work for you and fight for you to receive compensation for all your losses. You have rights after receiving an MMI notice, and an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer has the experience to help you to maximize your compensation. Give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.
What Happens After MMI Is Achieved?
After you reach MMI, things could change. If you are still receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your doctor will need to assign a disability rating for you. This is typically done after your doctor provides you with an examination and then fully assesses your condition and situation.
Typically, your doctor is looking at where you were before your incident and where you are now in terms of recovery.
Your doctor will assign a disability rating to you. In some situations, your doctor will include permanent work restrictions related to your disability. This means that your doctor is stating that you are not able to do the work you were doing and will provide very specific insight into what you cannot do.
There are some situations where your doctor will release you to unrestricted work. This means that you would no longer receive workers’ compensation benefits. You would be expected to return to work following the incident.
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Will Your Treatment and Income End?
Georgia law has a bit more flexibility in it than other states. When you reach MMI, you do not automatically lose your benefits. In some situations, you may be able to keep your medical treatment and income benefits in place even after you reach MMI.
The state’s laws provide individuals with medical benefits – funds to cover their medical treatments – for as much as 400 weeks after a work-related accident. You may also be eligible to continue receiving income benefits during this time.
Your workers’ compensation benefits do not automatically stop once you reach MMI. There are two situations in which they will likely cease to occur:
- Your doctor states you can return to unrestricted work after your incident. That means you can go back to the work you were doing.
- Your doctor releases you back to work, and though you are not doing the same type of work, you are making the same or even more money than you were prior to the incident.
Unless one of these two factors occurs, you may continue to receive your workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.
Are You Unsure if the MMI Is Accurate?
There are some situations where you do not agree with reaching MMI, or you may not believe that the rating you are given is accurate. This is not uncommon. You do not have to accept the decision from your doctor even in situations where the same doctor may have followed you throughout the injury and recovery process.
In this situation, you should visit another doctor and have another screening and evaluation completed. This is a second opinion, and while it needs to be a doctor that is recognized by the state, having another provider can help you continue to receive the care and support you need.
There are some situations where another doctor may offer alternative treatment options or medical procedures they feel could further help you improve. If that is the case, workers’ compensation could cover those benefits for you. This valuable type of care can still be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits.
Don’t Agree to MMI Right Away
Do not simply agree to reach MMI. If you:
- Do not agree that you are unable to heal any further
- Feel that your disability rating is not accurate
- Want to try additional types of treatments
Work with a workers’ compensation attorney to continue to fight for the care you deserve. Our goal at John Foy & Associates is to help you know what all of your options are. Though MMI documentation may seem like it means you cannot continue to receive compensation, that is not what the case is.
Our attorneys can help you to determine what legal rights you have to additional compensation and support.
How MMI Impacts the Resolution of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If you suffer a workers’ compensation-related injury, you may have the right to claim compensation for those losses. Reaching MMI can play a role in the settlement you agree to.
In many cases, we do not recommend that our clients settle their claims until they reach MMI. Otherwise, you may not have any idea of what type and amount of compensation you will actually need going forward. However, once you reach MMI, it may be time to work towards a settlement of your incident.
That often means that the medical treatment you are receiving has reached its highest level, and you may not have additional treatment options available to you. You likely know, at this point, what your limitations may be going forward, and that is the information needed to make a final settlement. Read through our client testimonials to learn more about our firm.
Let Us Guide You in Creating a Fair Workers’ Compensation Settlement
What happens after you reach MMI in Georgia is really dependent on the situation at hand. Allow our dedicated attorneys to help you determine what your next steps should be so we can help you to pursue the compensation owed to you.
Contact John Foy & Associates now to discuss your case. We will provide you with a free consultation that gives you the information and guidance you need to move your case forward. Now is the time for you to take action, and we are here to help you.