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Can I Move Out Of State With An Active Claim?

Posted in workers compensation on October 3, 2022

If you sustain an injury at work in Arizona, chances are you will be able to recover compensation for your losses. Just about every employer in Arizona is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to help pay for all medical bills associated with a workplace injury as well as a portion of lost wages if there is a temporary or long-lasting disability. However, what if you move out of state while you have an active workers’ compensation claim? Will you still be able to recover compensation for your workplace injury?

Your Right to Compensation Stands

When you sustain a workplace injury in Arizona, you do not lose your rights to compensation if you choose to move out of state while your injury claim is ongoing. Workplace injury victims who are rightfully owed compensation through the Arizona workers’ comp system will not lose these rights if they choose to leave.

The Practical Effects of Moving

Moving out of state while there is an ongoing workers’ compensation claim could present some practical challenges to the case.

A move could delay benefit payments due to the address change. It will be crucial for the injury victim to ensure everyone is advised about the correct address so the checks can get to the correct location. Those who need to be notified about hand address change include an attorney working on the case and the insurance adjuster.

Medical care for the individual workplace injury victim will be more complicated if they move, particularly if they move out of state. Typically, the workplace insurance carrier will want claimants to see the doctor they choose, and ensuring that the injury victim receives proper care will require finding a new doctor that will be approved by the insurance carrier. Any workplace injury victim who is working with an attorney should be able to help get approval for these changes.

Finally, moving will make it harder to appear at any depositions, hearings, or trial that may be necessary to ensure the claim moves in the right direction towards approval.

Getting Approval to Leave

Workplace injury victims in Arizona are typically not allowed to leave the state for more than two weeks while they are actively receiving medical care without written permission from the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA).

Any person who leaves the state without permission for more than two weeks will forfeit their right to recover compensation during that particular time frame. The insurance carrier will not have to pay medical bills or compensation while the individual leaves the state without permission. Should the disability become worse during the time frame a person left the state without permission, they will likely not be entitled to compensation for any aggravation of their injury (ARS Section 23-1071A).

Individuals who need to request a leave of more than two weeks should file a “Request to Leave the  State” form with the ICA’s Claims Division. The request needs to include:

  • Claim number and claim information
  • The reason for the request to leave the state
  • Information about where you are going
  • The date that you are going
  • The duration of the stay

Clearly, if you are moving, then the duration of your stay will be permanent. That is why it is crucial to have an attorney by your side who can work out these details with the ICA so that you can continue to receive compensation while you recover from your injury.