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What happens if I can’t return to work after reaching MMI?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) is a key term within workers’ compensation. You might be familiar with this term if you work in a physically demanding field such as construction. MMI refers to the point at which your medical condition has stabilized and is not expected to improve further with additional treatment. It indicates that you have healed as much as your specific injuries and physical state will likely allow.

In the construction industry, reaching MMI may mean you can no longer perform tasks that were once routine due to the physical demands and nature of your job. In this case, it’s essential to understand your options and rights, as navigating the path post-MMI can be challenging.

Seeking to return to work

Reaching MMI does not signify the end of your working journey. If your employer or insurance carrier doesn’t provide vocational assistance—including job training and counseling—you might feel stuck. You’re medically stable, but physical limitations prevent you from resuming your old job. It might seem like the end, but it’s not. There are resources available to you in North Carolina. One significant resource is the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, which provides vocational counseling, job placement assistance and other services to help individuals with disabilities reenter the workforce. While you may not be physically ready to return to your previous duties after reaching MMI, you can explore other employment opportunities that accommodate your current condition.

Maximizing available resources to you

As a construction worker who has reached MMI, the future might seem bleak. Remember, there’s always hope. By law, you have resources you can leverage to navigate your next steps and work towards reentering the workforce in a capacity that fits your capabilities.