How OWCP Does MMI
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) determines Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) for injured federal employees based on the following factors:
- The nature and severity of the injury
- The results of medical treatment
- The employee’s prognosis for future improvement
- The employee’s ability to perform their job duties
MMI is reached when the employee’s condition has stabilized and is not expected to improve further with further medical treatment. Once MMI is reached, the employee may be entitled to certain benefits, such as a lump-sum award for their impairment or wage loss.
The OWCP will typically use the treating physician’s opinion to determine MMI. However, the OWCP may also request an independent medical examination (IME) if it has concerns about the treating physician’s opinion. The IME physician will review the employee’s medical records and examine the employee to determine whether they have reached MMI.
The OWCP will make a final determination of MMI based on all of the available medical evidence. The employee may appeal the OWCP’s determination to the Employees’ Compensation Appeals Board (ECAB).
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about OWCP’s MMI determination process:
- The OWCP does not have a set timeframe for making an MMI determination. The process can take several months or even years, depending on the complexity of the case.
- The OWCP’s MMI determination is not always final. The employee may be able to reopen the case if their condition changes or if new medical evidence becomes available.
If you have been injured on the job and are wondering about MMI, it is important to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney can help you understand the MMI determination process and protect your rights.