Workers’ compensation claims can be confusing, even when you do understand the terminology. Acronyms are common in the workers’ compensation industry, where people who understand them also create instructions and claim forms.To demystify the process, we’ve compiled a list of some common acronyms used in workers’ compensation claims. A workers’ compensation attorney could provide additional context for your claim.
ACOEM: American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) provides occupational practice guidelines and standards that many states use for disability assessment in workers’ compensation claims and help workers’ comp doctors effectively treat work-related health issues.
ADA: Americans with Disabilities Act
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law designed to protect people with disabilities from workplace discrimination. If you have a disability or impairment as a result of a work-related accident, your employer must allow reasonable accommodation so you can do your work. Failure to do so could be a violation of the ADA.
ALJ: Administrative Law Judge
If you have a dispute with your employer or workers’ compensation insurance provider, your case may be brought before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). An ALJ is an independent judge who reviews the facts of the case and issues a decision regarding your workers’ comp benefits claim.
AMA: American Medical Association
To establish your level of impairment for permanent disability benefits in a workers’ compensation claim, your doctor could use standards established by the American Medical Association (AMA).
AME/QME: Approved Medical Examiner or Qualified Medical Examiner
If you disagree with your workers’ compensation medical provider about the cause, extent, or severity of your injuries, you may ask for an independent medical review by an approved medical examiner (AME) or qualified medical examiner (QME). These examiners are highly qualified, experienced medical doctors in the specific field relating to your injury.
DWC/WCB: Division of Workers’ Compensation or Workers’ Compensation Board
States manage workers’ compensation policies and disputes with a board, division, or other government oversight organization. Division of workers compensation (DWC) and workers’ compensation board (WCB) are two of the most common names for those who oversee workers’ compensation.
DO: Doctor of Osteopathy
A DO is a doctor of osteopathy. You may see references to DO in your workers’ compensation medical paperwork. A DO is a licensed, trained medical doctor who also handles manual medicine, including joint, tissue, and massage treatments.
DOI/BOI: Department of Insurance or Bureau of Insurance
Every state has a division or department that regulates insurance carriers, including workers’ compensation insurance. Common names for insurance regulatory offices include the Department of Insurance (DOI), Bureau of Insurance (BOI), and Insurance Division (ID).
FMLA: Family and Medical Leave Act
If your workplace injury requires you to miss work, your job could be protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA is a federal law that allows you to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave to handle a serious health condition. At the end of your leave, your employer must allow you to return to your job or a similar position within the company.
HCO/MPN: Health Care Organization or Medical Provider Network
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance may have a designated health care organization (HCO) or medical provider network (MPN) to handle workplace injuries. Check with your employer or workers’ comp claims administrator to find out whether your work injury should be treated within a specific HCO or MPN.
IME/IMR: Independent Medical Examination or Independent Medical Review
If you disagree with your treating doctor’s findings, you can request an independent medical examination (IME) or independent medical review (IMR) to substantiate your workers’ comp claim. Most states allow an independent to ensure that the doctor’s findings are legitimate.
MD: Licensed Doctor of Medicine
An MD is a licensed Doctor of Medicine. You may see a general MD for your initial evaluation or an MD who specializes in your specific workplace illness or injury.
MMI: Maximum Medical Improvement or Maximal Medical Improvement
Maximum medical improvement (MMI) is when a workers’ compensation patient has completed their treatment plan, and their health isn’t likely to improve further with or without treatment. For some workers, this means they are back to their original state of health and can return to work. Some workers may have limitations or disabilities preventing them from recovering fully.
P&S: Permanent and Stationary
When your condition is described as permanent and stationary (P&S), your doctor has determined that you have reached maximum medical improvement. The P&S report for your workers’ compensation claim outlines your work-caused medical condition and the limitations and disabilities you have after completing treatment. It is often used to file a permanent disability claim.
PD: Permanent Disability
PD is the acronym for permanent disability. It can also be modified to PT for permanent total disability or PP for permanent partial disability.
TD: Temporary Disability
TD stands for temporary disability in a workers’ compensation claim and can be modified to TTD for temporary total disability or TPD for temporary partial disability.
UR: Utilization Review
When you file for permanent disability, your doctor’s treatment plan must meet certain requirements (typically established by the state’s workers’ comp board). Your employer or workers’ comp insurance provider will conduct a utilization review (UR) to determine whether the treatment plan is medically necessary. If you have trouble with treatment authorization issues, a workers’ comp attorney can help.
WC: Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is often abbreviated to WC in workers’ comp documentation and instructions. You may also see WCP for workers’ compensation program or WCI for workers’ compensation insurance.
Arrange a Free Consultation With A Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
Even when you understand some of the most common acronyms used in workers’ compensation claims, the process itself can be complex and overwhelming. If you have additional questions about workers’ comp terminology, acronyms, and other details, reach out to KJT Law Group’s workers’ comp lawyers online or call (818) 507-8525 to request a free consultation.