Alabama Workers Compensation Questions: (14) What does MMI mean?
As mentioned in earlier blogs, temporary total disability benefits (TTD benefits) is the name given to the workers’ compensation check a worker who was injured at work receives during the period of time they are unable to work due to their job injury. TTD benefits are 2/3rds of the injured workers’ average weekly wages as calculated during the 52 week period immediately preceding their on the job injury.
TTD benefits are temporary in nature in that they are payable only during a worker’s recovery period; the Act envisions that permanent-disability benefits, if appropriate, be paid to an employee after he or she reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Once plaintiff reaches maximum medical improvement, their right to temporary total disability ends. The same is true of their right to any temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
So, one question we are often asked is what exactly does maximum medical improvement (MMI) mean? An injured worker is found to have reached MMI status once “‘there is no further medical care or treatment that could be reasonably anticipated to lessen the claimant’s disability. G. UB. MK. Constructors v. Traffanstedt, 726 So.2d 704, 709 (Ala.Civ.App.1998). When MMI is reached depends on the circumstances of the particular case, and in many cases just because one doctor has opined that an injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement does not mean that another physician (maybe one chosen from a Panel of Four) will agree with this assessment, and ttd benefits can be reinstated if the new treating physician states that you have not yet reached MMI.
If you or someone you care about has suffered a work related injury and someone has mentioned maximum medical improvement or MMI to you and you have questions, the experienced Alabama Workers’ Comp attorneys at would be happy to talk to you and try to answer any questions you might have.
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