Obtaining workers’ compensation benefits following a work injury in Georgia can be complicated, especially if you suffer serious injuries that require you to be off work for a long period of time. While you can resolve your claim at any time if you are having a dispute about your entitlement to benefits, it is often in your best interests to wait until you reach maximum medical improvement to ensure that you receive all the benefits you deserve.
What Is Maximum Medical Improvement?
Maximum medical improvement is a term used in workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, such as slip and fall and car accidents. It is often referred to as MMI for short. In a less serious injury, it can be the stage where you have a reached a full recovery. In other cases, it is the stage where your doctor has advised you that you have healed as much as you will and that you will be left with some effects of your injury. In Georgia, you may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits after you reach your MMI.
How MMI Can Affect Your Augusta Workers’ Compensation Case
It is often a good idea to wait until you reach MMI before resolving a disputed workers’ compensation claim to ensure that it includes any future medical expenses that you will incur. In addition, your MMI will also affect your right to wage loss benefits. Here is how this can work:
- If you are unable to work for more than seven days due to your injuries, you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits, which is two-thirds of your wages up to a maximum amount set yearly. You can receive these payments until you reach your MMI or 400 weeks, whichever is sooner.
- When you are receiving temporary partial disability benefits because you can return to work in a more limited capacity, you are entitled to these benefits until you reach your MMI or a maximum of 350 weeks.
- Once you are no longer entitled to the benefits listed above, your doctor would evaluate you for a permanent disability. If your doctor determines that you suffered a permanent partial disability, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability payments based on a schedule of impairments or an unscheduled award if your disability is not on the workers’ comp list of impairments.
- If you suffered a permanent and total disability that prevents you from working, you may be entitled to receive weekly payments for your lifetime at the amount of your temporary total disability payments.
Being certain that you are receiving all of the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to can be complicated. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys are here to explain your legal rights and ensure that you receive the benefits you deserve. We offer a free initial consultation where you can learn more about how we can assist you. Contact us online or call our Augusta office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule an appointment.