“What happens when I reach MMI and I have permanent restrictions?”

by Karl Voigt

Karl just answered this Pennsylvania workers’ compensation question on Avvo.com:

“What happens when I reach MMI and I have permanent restrictions? Its been a year since my work injury and i just had second IME and the report stated that I have reached MMI and that my restrictions are permanent. Does this mean that I keep receiving workers comp checks permanently since my employer never offered me a job?”

You posted this question around 2 AM. I’m going to gather that you have difficulty sleeping, probably as a result of your work injury. Hopefully, the answers you find here will at least put you at ease.  First, please note that there is no true “permanent” in workers’ compensation. The insurance company always has tools at its disposal to try and reduce the amount of benefits that you get. However, an insurance medical examination (IME) is by no means binding on your case. There will be no immediate effect on your wage loss benefits simply because you were subject to an examination by doctors chosen by the insurance company. It may in fact be far more important to know what your treating physicians say.  Nevertheless, during the course of your disability, your employer may actually offer you a position, reportedly within your physical limitations. The carrier could also hire a vocational counselor to opine that you are capable of returning to hypothetical jobs, such as security guard, telemarketer, or cashier. Please note that these are just examples.  Next, in about another year, after you have received 104 weeks of wage loss benefits, your employer may subject you to a different sort of medical examination: an impairment rating evaluation (IRE). This may result in your wage loss benefits being put on a 500 week clock.  As you can tell, there are many paths that your claim can take. While I never like to sound like a salesperson for lawyers, it may indeed be time to speak with one regarding these paths, with the hopes that you — and not the insurance company — play a role in choosing one.

To see the full question, go to: http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/what-happens-when-i-reach-mmi-and-i-have-permanent-1935386.html?answered=true

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