A: Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is a medical term used by your physician to indicate he believes you have basically gotten as good as you are going to get from your recovery of your workers’ compensation injury(ies). This does NOT mean that your workers’ compensation claim is over. It does NOT mean that you can never return to the doctor. It does NOT mean that your entitlement to prescriptions or medical equipment will end. Medically, it just means that there is no major medical procedure that will improve your condition significantly.
Once you reach MMI, your doctor will likely recommend a FCE (Functional Capacity Evaluation) to establish permanent restrictions. Sometimes, the permanent restrictions can mean a change in employment status. Some employers will be willing to accommodate temporary restrictions on a short term basis. However, the employer may not be equally willing to find a permanent light duty position for someone who has permanent restrictions. If this happens, then the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will probably try vocational rehabilitation to find you a job with another employer. Once you enter vocational rehabilitation, it may be time to consider settling your workers’ compensation claim. We can answer your questions regarding vocational assistance, settlement, and help you obtain any benefits if you lose your job as a result of permanent restrictions.