Return-to-Work Patterns and Time Intervals for Texas Workers' Compensation Claimants Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement

Date

1995-05

Authors

King, Christopher T.
Pavone, James

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Publisher

Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources

Abstract

Researchers at the Center for the Study of Human Resources, part of the L.B.J. School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin, analyzed data for Texas workers' compensation indemnity claimants with 1991-1992 dates of injury where MMI was reached prior to 104 weeks. i.e . cases for which MMI was physician-established. Only non-fatal, single claims were included. The analysis examined both return-to-work (RTW) patterns pre- and post injury employment and earnings-for 1991 indemnity claimants and median time-intervals between two key MMI milestones. the date lost-time began (BLT) and the date MMI was reached, for 1991 and 1992 indemnity claimants. The MMI milestone is important because ideally it is the date on which the injured worker1s medical condition has stabilized enough for a physician to assign an impairment rating. MMI represents either the end of all income benefits for workers with no impairment, or the end of TIBs and the beginning of IIBs (and possibly SIBs) for workers with positive impairment ratings. Thus, the determination of MMI should provide an incentive for injured workers with zero or near-zero impairment ratings to return to work.

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