MMI & “Maintenance” Treatment

Barkan Meizlish , May 13, 2015

Once an employee reaches maximum medical improvement (“MMI”), payments for temporary total disability must stop. R.C. 4123.56. MMI is a treatment plateau, when no fundamental functional or physiological change can be expected within reasonable medical probability. Ohio Adm. Code 4121-3-32(A)(1). One thing to note is that an injured worker can receive supportive treatment to maintain their function level, even if they are MMI.

Recently a woman who reached MMI after treatment for her injury did not receive temporary total disability benefits, despite the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation authorizing ongoing treatment. State ex rel. McCormick v. McDonald’s, Slip Opinion No. 2015-Ohio-123. In McCormick an employee slipped and fell, injuring her head, neck, and back. Eight years after the accident a doctor determined that she had reached MMI, but two weeks after being determined MMI, her treating physician requested additional treatment, which was approved. Id. at ¶6.

The industrial commission, discontinued her temporary total disability compensation based on the fact that a doctor had determined she was MMI. After several failed appeals, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the commission’s decision, because the treatment was determined to be for “maintenance” of her injuries. Id.  If you have been determined MMI, but are still actively treating, you should contact an attorney to see if you are able to receive temporary total compensation.

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