Under Arkansas law, when you are injured while at work, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
The purpose of these benefits is to provide monetary compensation while you recover from your injuries until you are able to return to work.
Notably, however, the benefits you may be entitled to receive could change over time as you recover from your injuries. This is where the concept of maximum medical improvement (MMI) can come into play.
If you’ve sustained an on-the-job injury and are wondering how workers’ comp maximum medical improvement works and whether it applies to you, the Cottrell Law Office is here to help.
Continue reading to learn more and see how we can assist you on your pathway toward recovery today.
Workers’ Comp and Maximum Medical Improvement: An Overview
Workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as workers’ comp, is a type of insurance benefit that provides employees with compensation for certain medical expenses incurred due to injuries sustained while working.
However, the total amount of your benefits and how long you may be entitled to receive them will likely depend on your MMI.
Before proceeding with your claim for workers’ compensation, here are some things you should know about workers’ comp and MMI in Arkansas.
Workers’ Compensation and Types of Benefits, Generally
Arkansas law requires most employers to obtain a workers’ compensation policy to provide benefits to employees for on-the-job accidents and illnesses.
Importantly, workers’ comp benefits are typically provided regardless of who was at fault in causing the incident leading to the employee’s injuries.
The four main categories of benefits under Arkansas workers’ compensation law include:
- Temporary total disability benefits;
- Temporary partial disability benefits;
- Permanent partial disability benefits; and
- Permanent total disability benefits.
Because workers’ compensation benefits are meant to provide compensation until an injured worker can return to their place of employment, the amount of their benefits may change as they move forward in their recovery process.
Temporary benefits typically continue only until you reach MMI. Permanent benefits, on the other hand, may continue indefinitely.
Definition of Maximum Medical Improvement: What is MMI in Workers’ Comp?
In the context of an Arkansas workers’ comp claim, maximum medical improvement is a term used to describe the point at which an injured worker has recovered from their injuries or illness to the point where they have reached their maximum level of recovery or improvement.
In short, this is the point at which a physician determines that a significant improvement in the worker’s condition is not expected.
As such, their recovery has progressed as far as is reasonably possible. This may mean the employee is fully recovered, but not necessarily.
In many cases, it just means that the employee has reached a point of medical stability where the condition is unlikely to change.
How Long Will My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last?
Benefits under a valid workers’ compensation claim will typically last until the end of the applicable “healing period.” Arkansas law defines this as the period for the healing of an injury arising out of an accident.
Once you have reached MMI, the healing period is over, and your temporary workers’ compensation benefits will end.
The reasoning behind this is that upon reaching MMI, most people should also be able to return to work. Thus, they will no longer need the assistance of workers’ compensation benefits.
However, your workers’ comp benefits may also be reevaluated at that time.
If your injuries are permanent, you may be able to seek permanent disability benefits for continuing financial assistance moving forward.
The amount of your ongoing benefits depends on the degree to which your disability interferes with your ability to work.
The Cottrell Law Office: Your Trusted Workers’ Comp MMI Attorney
A workplace injury can turn your world upside down.
Between physical pain, emotional trauma, medical expenses, and other financial implications, recovering from your injuries can sometimes feel insurmountable. However, know that you are not alone.
Let us take some of the weight off of your shoulders, so you can get back to focusing on your recovery.