Posted on: 1 August 2018
When a workplace injury sidelines you for an extended period of time, you may be the victim of what is ultimately a permanent injury. Most work-related incidents result in a short time of recuperation at home, followed by a return to the previously-held position at work, but unfortunately, that scenario is different for some. When the injury is more severe or just fails to heal, you may be in line for several different forms of compensation, and it's vital that you know what to expect so that you can get the most help available. Read on to learn more.
Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
MMI is the term that workers' compensation insurance companies use to describe your status once you've been medically evaluated as having an injury or occupational illness that is not getting any better despite treatment. It might be anything from a serious burn or spinal injury to a wrist injury that has left the worker with limited use of that extremity even after surgery. Once you have the ruling of MMI in hand, your benefits will undergo a big change and you may now be qualified for Social Security disability payments in addition to workers' compensation.
Workers' Compensation Benefits
You may now be offered a lump sum settlement from the insurance company for your permanent injury, but that settlement includes several parts and the ways it is made available to you varies widely. This can be a confusing issue and everything you are offered is up for negotiation. For instance, you might be offered:
1. A lump sum amount that is paid all at once or distributed in a certain manner. This is known as a structured settlement.
2. Payment of medical expenses related to the injury, both past and future.
3. Rehabilitation that might include training for a new job, if you are judged to be capable of performing other work.
4. Offers of suitable jobs appropriate for you given your disability.
Getting Social Security Too
You may be qualified to be paid a monthly benefit as a result of your past Social Security earnings and you can be paid both a workers' comp settlement and Social Security benefits at the same time. The amount you actually end up receiving depends on your workers' comp settlement details since you are limited on the total amount you get each month. You will get your full workers' comp monthly amount, but your Social Security payment may be reduced until you are being paid about 80% of your pre-injury earnings. This is called an offset.
The need for legal support during your workers' comp settlement negotiations is vital since structuring of the payments will dictate how much money you'll have to live on each month. Speak to workers compensation attorney services as soon as you get the MMI ruling and get what you deserve.Share