Question: Can I move to another state even though I have a workers’ compensation claim in Washington State?
Many claimants move to other states during the course of their workers’ compensation claims. Here are the top five things to consider when moving to another state:
- Tell your workers’ compensation attorney that you are moving, and update your contact information such as telephone number and address. Discuss any changes that may occur in your specific case after your move – changes in claim procedures or benefits, vocational retraining options, etc..
- Find a doctor in your new state that handles workers’ compensation claims from Washington. The Department of Labor and Industries offers a searchable list of providers in the United States, Mexico, Canada and other countries. Be sure to ask whether the doctor provides treatment to injured workers when making your appointment.
- As there is often confusion at the initial stages of treatment as to why a patient is seeing the doctor, be sure to tell your doctor that you have relocated and that you have an open, ongoing workers’ compensation claim from Washington State for which you need continuing treatment.
- Have your Notice of Decision authorizing your claim for medical treatment handy! This is how the doctor knows that he or she is allowed to treat you for your work-related injury. If you do not have a copy of that Notice of Decision or have lost it, ask your workers’ compensation attorney to send you a copy ASAP.
- Be proactive. This is your workers’ compensation claim: you have a right to your medical records. Ask for them after each visit! Give your workers’ compensation attorney the doctor’s contact information, including telephone number, fax number, and address. Get in touch with your workers’ compensation attorney if the doctor is having any difficulty getting your medical treatment paid for under your claim.