Often times an injured worker is discharged from a doctor’s care and is deemed Permanent and Stationary (P&S) or Maximally Medically Improved (MMI). These two phrases are interchangeable. So if you’re wondering what these legal acronyms stand for, here you go. But what exactly does it mean to be deemed Permanent & Stationary by a doctor? Read more to find out directly from a Los Angeles Workers Compensation Lawyer.
Permanent and Stationary, in basic terms, means that after obtaining the recommended treatment outlined by your primary treating physician (PTP), agreed medical evaluator (AME), or qualified medical evaluator (QME), you’ve reached a point where your medical condition will not improve any further with more treatment. In the doctor’s eyes, you are the best you’re going to be at this point.
You may think to yourself at this time, as a workers compensation patient, that you are still in pain and believe you still need treatment. Not to worry, you may still be entitled to obtain treatment even though you have been deemed P&S, however, the insurance company will probably fight it or refuse to pay for it as they have a doctor’s report outlining that you are P&S. There are ways around this. Contact a workers comp law firm, Kesh law, to find out how.
Content of P&S Reporting
In a P&S report, a doctor outlines his/her findings by reviewing the entire medical record, doing various testing, and taking down a history of the patient.
Once an injured worker is deemed P&S by a doctor, the doctor produces a comprehensive report outlining work limitations and restrictions, eligibility for a voucher, any lasting physical or mental limitations which are demonstrated by assigning a whole person impairment percentage which is translated to a permanent disability rating by a complex calculation, a temporary disability period, apportionment issues, causation, and future recommended treatment.
Permanent Work Restrictions
A doctor will determine in his final comprehensive report the applicant’s permanent work limitations or restrictions. Some examples include: no bending or stooping, no carrying/lifting over 10 pounds, no reaching above the shoulder level, and many more. These are called permanent work restrictions. Permanent work restrictions outline the only circumstances that the applicant should be allowed to work under to avoid further injury.
If the injured worker is still employed by the employer that they have filed a workers compensation claim against, the employer must determine whether they will accommodate the permanent work restrictions put in place by the doctor. This offer of employment that is compliant with the work restrictions put in place must be in writing to the injured worker and be sent out within a certain time frame of release of the report. If the employer cannot accommodate the work restrictions, the injured worker is entitled to a supplemental job displacement voucher.
Supplemental Job Displacement Voucher
This supplemental job displacement voucher is another benefit an injured worker may be eligible to receive as a part of the workers compensation claim. If your employer cannot accommodate your work restrictions, they owe this benefit to you. This voucher can be used for educational training or skill enhancement. The voucher is worth different amounts based on your date of injury.
Whole Person Impairment
In this final report, the doctor will also outline any whole person impairment (WPI). Whole person impairment is “a loss or loss of use or derangement of any body part, organ system, or organ function” per the AMA guides. This WPI translates to a dollar value through a complex calculation. Your workers comp lawyer will do this calculation for you to ensure you are getting the correct benefits.
Temporary Disability Period
Also, in the final report, the doctor will determine the temporary disability period. Meaning, the period for which you could not work due to your injury and should have been paid benefits by your employer. The temporary disability rate is calculated at 2/3 of your weekly pay. If you were not paid for the period outlined by the doctor already, you are entitled to payment unless there is a rebuttal report outlining an earlier P&S date. Again, your workers compensation attorney will ensure you are obtaining the maximum temporary disability reporting based on your wages and reports.
Additionally, in this report, the doctor will also outline what injuries alleged are caused by work and which injuries are caused by a non-work related accident.
The doctor will also outline any future recommended treatment in his final report. This means that the doctor will outline what treatment you will need for the rest of your life due to this work injury. The future treatment can be as simple as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy during periods of inflammation or could outline possible surgery in the future.
Once a P&S report is issued by a doctor, depending on the content of the report, your attorney may determine if it is time to settle, cross-examine the doctor, request a supplemental report, or move the case to trial. Contact Kesh Law, a Los Angeles workers compensation lawyer, for a free case evaluation and for further analysis of your specific case.