9 Technical Workers Comp Terms You Should Understand

by James M. Hoffmann on Jun. 29, 2021

Employment Workers' Compensation Accident & Injury Employment  Employee Rights 

Summary: There are many technical terms that may be used during the workers compensation claims process. They can be confusing. Here are nine technical terms that are often used in workers' comp and what they mean.

Missouri workers' compensation laws are vast and complex. The statutes are stringent, and you need to properly comply with both the procedures and paperwork to get compensated. Additionally, there are many technical terms that may be used during the workers' compensation claims process. They can be confusing. Here are nine technical terms that are often used in workers' comp and what they mean.


Idiopathic Illness/Injury

An idiopathic illness or injury is an illness whose cause is unknown or undetermined. Suppose your illness or injury is classified as idiopathic. In that case, you may not be eligible for coverage by workers' compensation unless there's sufficient evidence showing your illness or injury is work-related. 


Average Weekly Wage (AWW)

Average Weekly Wage, or AWW, is the number that is used to determine what you will be paid throughout the rehabilitative process. There are several methods used to determine the AWW. The most common one is where you'll add all the preceding year's earnings, including commissions, bonuses, overtime, and other wages, and divide them by 52. You'll then multiply the answer you get by a specific percentage that depends on the level of your disability. 


Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)

Maximum medical improvement refers to when there’s no further medical treatment that can improve your condition. Your physician will assign you an MMI when your condition has stabilized. After you receive the MMI, your worker's temporary compensation benefits will be suspended.


Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

If you have been assigned an MMI and return to work but now suffer from a permanent impairment, and you can't work at your full capacity, then you're generally entitled to a PPD benefit. The compensation amount you will receive is calculated based on the severity of your impairment. 


Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits

Permanent total disability benefits will apply to you if you are completely and permanently unable to work anywhere because of a work-related injury.


Benefit Review Conference (BRC)

This is a proceeding you hold before a neutral hearing officer to resolve any issues relating to your injury or the benefits owed to you by your employer.


Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

FCE is a series of tests that a therapist will perform to determine your capabilities and restrictions due to your injury. The therapist will review your job description to ascertain your capacity to do specific tasks and give you a detailed report on your abilities and limitations.


Case Manager/Nurse Case Manager (CM/NCM)

This is an agent for the insurance company assigned to handle the medical aspects of your claim. In most cases, they are usually independent social workers or nurses. They could also be employees of workers' compensation carriers or third-party administrators.


Retaliatory Discharge/Wrongful Termination (RD/WT)

There are laws to protect workers who may be terminated from work as retaliation for filing workers' compensation claims. If your employer terminates your employment on these grounds, you may file a claim for WT or RD. 


Missouri Work Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured on the job, you should speak with an experienced St. Louis work injury lawyer to ensure your legal rights are protected. At the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann we have over 25 years of experience protecting the rights of injured workers throughout Missouri. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

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