Once you reach Maximum medical improvement ,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.
The FCE is a very important test and you need to understand what it is and to be prepared for it. This test can determine necessary impairment ratings, as well as permanent restrictions. To learn more about the FCE go here
For information on impairment ratings or Permanent Partial Disability benefits go here
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. If you refuse to cooperate with the Vocational Rehabilitation process, you benefits can be stopped. For information on Vocational Rehabilitation go here
Once you enter vocational rehabilitation, it may be time to consider settling your workers’ compensation claim.
Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is a medical term used by your workers compensation treating physician to indicate he believes you have basically gotten as good as you are going to get medically from 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 have reached the MMI milestone in your case, if you have not yet consulted a workers compensation lawyer, you need to call one immediately. MMI is a turning point in your claim and this can determine whether or not you are able to return to your prior job or industry, if you may need to participate in Vocational Rehabilitation services, or if you might benefit from other means of relief, like a lump sum settlement. To better understand some of the benefits of a lump sum settlement, go here
It is always best to consult a lawyer to make sure your benefits are protected and to help you determine which course of action may be best for your specific set of circumstances.
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.
About the Author: Michele Lewane
The Injured Workers Law Firm is a Richmond, Virginia based firm solely focused on serving clients with workers' compensation claims in Virginia. If you have questions about your benefits or if you would like more information on the Virginia workers’ compensation system, order our book, “The Ultimate Guide to Workers’ Compensation in Virginia” , or call our office today (804) 755-7755.