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Can I challenge a determination of maximum medical improvement?

Ideally, everyone who suffers a work injury in Youngstown would fully recover. But this doesn’t happen in the real world. Depending on things like the severity of your injury, your age and your underlying health, you might heal completely. Or you might only partially recover and have to live with lingering pain and/or disability.

In workers’ compensation terms, this is known as your maximum medical improvement, or MMI. It’s the point in your recovery when your condition has stabilized and doctors believe further progress is unlikely. One reason your MMI matters is that once you reach it, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation or state Industrial Commission can terminate temporary total compensation (TT). You could lose some or all of your benefits.

Terminating TT workers’ comp

The MMI process starts when the injured worker’s treating physician determines that their patient has recovered as much as they are going to. The doctor submits that information to the BWC. The BWC then issues a termination date for the patient’s TT workers’ comp. The agency follows up with the doctor to make sure they agree that TT benefits should end. If they do, BWC refers the findings to the IC, which will set a date for a hearing on the matter. As the injured worker, you can attend the hearing and challenge the claim that your recovery has ended.

Other types of workers’ compensation

Losing your TT benefits could be a big blow. But you still might be entitled to other forms of workers’ comp, such as:

  • Permanent total or partial disability
  • Wage loss, if you have a new job that pays less than your old job
  • Rehabilitation

Still, you may be able to successfully challenge the termination action. Your chances are highest if you work with a workers’ compensation attorney.