Definition of Maximum Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement, or MMI, is a medical term that is used in the treatment of an injured worker who is receiving workers' compensation benefits for their work-related injury or illness. When an injured worker reaches a point where their condition has improved the most that it will improve, they are said to have reached maximum medical improvement. This may mean that an injured worker is fully and completely recovered from their injury or illness and able to return to the job that they had before their injury or illness, if it is available. However, it may also mean that an injured worker is left with a partial or total permanent disability. This is because no additional improvement or healing is deemed possible, at this point.
Even though an injured worker has reached maximum medical improvement, that worker may still require medical care. In fact, an injured worker may require medical care for the rest of their life. If maximum medical improvement does involve either a partial or total permanent disability for an injured worker, there condition will be assessed and a rate of impairment and disability will be determined. The level and degree of the impairment and disability will determine the amount of permanent disability benefits that the injured worker will receive.