I just got transferred and need to move. How does a local lawyer help? Can I move with an active claim ?
- The claim remains active in North Carolina
- It is important to work with out-of-state healthcare providers in maintaining treatment
- Local legal counsel is important
- Your Workers’ Compensation lawyer will advise you how to proceed
If you’re in that situation, if you think that you might want to move or need to move or have to move for whatever reason and you’re out of work, but have an ongoing workers’ comp claim, give us a call – Kevin Jones
Modified Transcript of “Can I move with an active claim” for the Hearing Impaired
Hello. My name is Kevin Jones.
I’m the workers’ comp specialist for the firm Dodge Jones Injury Law Firm. We are in eastern North Carolina with offices in New Bern, Jacksonville, Greenville, Morehead City and Beaufort.
I’m here to talk to you about some frequently asked questions that I get from folks who come to me about their workers’ comp claims. Right now I’m going to talk to you about the question that I get is, can I move back to where I’m originally from even though I’ve still got this workers’ comp claim going on, and I’m still out of work receiving benefits.
Can I move back home? Can I move with an active claim ?
Particularly where we are with the military bases, we have people that are there for a short period of time that are in this area that want to go back home. They’re working a job here, but they want to go back to where their family is, especially if they’re recuperating from a serious injury. They got family support and so they want to leave.
Sometimes it’s because they’re military dependent, and then the spouse is relocated.
They have concerns about what happens to my workers’ comp claim if I have to move out of state. The answer is that you absolutely can move out of state and still have your comp claim going and still receive the benefits that you’re entitled to.
The employer and the workers’ comp carrier, they can’t make you stay just because the claim is still ongoing. There has to be a legitimate reason in order to keep benefits from being cut off that’s separate and apart from the workers’ comp claim.
In other words, it can’t be that you’re avoiding going back to a job that’s being offered because you really don’t like that employer. If that’s the sole reason for moving out of the state and if that’s what it turns out that is the reason for the move, then you can have some problems there.
What gets tough is when you do move out of state and the benefits are ongoing, and trying to get the medical treatment you need, get established with a new doctor out-of-state.
Make sure that the benefits are being paid. If the client is doing a job search after they’ve lost their job, having to interact with a vocational counselor that’s been hired by the insurance company in that other state. It can be done long distance. I do it often.
I’ve had clients move all over the country with their claim still going. It’s a little more difficult.
We will often communicate with workers’ comp specialists in the other states, people like me in other states in order to try to get as much information as we can about the doctors that are going to be offered from the insurance company.
In other words, they’re going to have doctors that they want that person to see when they move to say Columbus, Ohio. That doctor may be a problem for an injured worker because it’s insurance company doctor who may not need to be trusted.
A lot of times we have to really do our research and figure out by talking to other lawyers that do what I do in these other states, and try to do what we can to avoid those types of doctors when the person moves out of state.
The other thing that we will often be dealing with is these nurse case managers and these vocational counselors that work with our clients when they move out of state. That can be a little tougher because of the distance sometimes, and also because the rules are different in these other states.
We have to often educate these people because in some states they really don’t have a lot rules. They can do some things that are not necessarily in my client’s best interests that North Carolina rehabilitation rules do not allow. Sometimes they have to be reined in. Sometimes they have to be stopped, and sometimes we have to file motions to get rid of them when they’re that bad.
The first step is to educate those people and make sure they follow our rules because they have to follow our rules even though my client may be in another state getting those services.
If you’re in that situation, if you may be in that situation, if you think that you might want to move or need to move or have to move for whatever reason and you’re out of work, or you’re back at work, but you still got an ongoing workers’ comp claim, give us a call.
I’m happy to talk with you about it. The initial consultation is free, and we’ll see what we can do to help.