Many employees work in safe environments that involve very few injuries. However, injuries occur in the workplace and some work related injuries cause employees to become temporarily or permanently disabled. Usually employees obtain treatment and are eventually able to return to work. They can receive compensation for missing work and have their injuries treated through their Workers' Compensation insurance policy. Once an employee’s injuries have healed or improved as much as possible and they can return to work, their employer will stop their temporary disability benefits.
Maximum Medical Improvement, or MMI, in the state of South Carolina occurs when a physician declares the patient is no longer in need of medical treatment because they have reached the best condition they will achieve since being injured.
In the case of Smith v South Carolina Department of Mental Health, the Supreme Court ruled that an employer could stop temporary disability benefits once an employee reaches maximum medical improvement.
Another case regarding MMI, Anderson v. Baptist Medical Center and Palmetto Hospital Trust Fund, says that an injured worker is entitled to temporary total compensation for the period of time where the worker is totally incapacitated from work. Once the employee has reached MMI and is no longer temporarily totally disabled, the employer can end disability benefits. If the employee reaches MMI but still has a permanent functional impairment, he or she usually has a permanent disability to the injured body part, and is entitled to benefits based upon the severity of the disability.
Have You Been Injured On The Job?
If you've been hurt at your job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Conway, South Carolina office directly at 843.484.0707 to schedule your free consultation. We are also able to meet clients at our Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia, North Myrtle Beach or North Charleston office locations.