Did you suffer an injury while on the job in Arizona? You have the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits for medical coverage and any missing time on the job for your recovery. While you are actively under “medical treatment” by Arizona’s workers’ compensation insurance system, there are some important regulations in place regarding your ability to leave the state.
Injured workers should be sure that they are complying with all relevant regulations. Within this article, our Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyer provides a comprehensive overview of the most important things that you should know about leaving the State of Arizona while receiving active medical treatment.
You Need Permission to Leave the State for More than 14 Consecutive Days
Here is the central point workers should know about the law in Arizona: When you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits and are under active medical treatment, you are not supposed to leave the state for more than 14 consecutive days without permission. It is a rule that is in place, in large part, to help ensure that injured workers in Arizona do not miss out on important medical appointments and that their treatments are not otherwise disrupted.
How do you get permission to leave the state for more than 14 days? You should proactively contact the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) and inform them of your intention to leave. Beyond that, you should also generally notify your claims adjuster and keep them in the loop. The workers’ compensation system is designed to help you recover and return to work. Remember, any action that might be construed as evading treatment could be detrimental to your claim.
Injured Workers Can Petition to Leave Arizona for More than 14 Days
In some instances, an injured worker may have valid reasons for needing to leave Arizona for more than 14 days. When faced with such a situation, you can petition the ICA for an extension of your available time to leave the state. Through the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA), you can access the official Request to Leave the State form. Before doing so, it’s a good idea to consult with an experienced Phoenix, AZ workers’ compensation attorney to understand the specific steps involved and the chances of your petition being granted.
You should ensure that your petition is well-documented with valid reasons for your intended departure. For example, a family emergency or the availability of specialized medical treatment in another state would generally be considered as compelling reasons. Be prepared to provide documentation that supports your claims, such as letters from family members or medical records. It is also advisable to be prepared to present a detailed plan that illustrates how you will continue your treatment while you are away from Arizona.
Be Sure to Follow Your Doctor’s Orders When Traveling
Whether you are leaving for a short period or have been granted permission to be away for more than 14 days, it is also crucial that you strictly adhere to your doctor’s orders throughout your time away from Arizona. Among other things, you should be sure to:
- Keep Your Doctor Involved: Keep open lines of communication with your treating physician. Before leaving, discuss your travel plans and understand any special instructions that may apply to your condition. For example, if you have been prescribed physical therapy sessions, explore options to continue them in your destination.
- Be Sure that You Have All Medications: You should also ensure that you have a sufficient supply of medication and understand any travel-related restrictions concerning them.
- Maintain Strong Records: It is also wise to keep records of any treatment or consultations you undertake while away. This documentation is essential for reimbursement claims and to provide continuity in your care upon your return to Arizona.
- Be Ready to Interact With Claims Adjuster: It is generally a best practice to keep your claims adjuster updated on your whereabouts and medical treatment while you are away from Arizona. The transparency can help to prevent any misunderstandings that could negatively impact your workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact Our Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Immediate Help
At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, our Arizona workers’ comp lawyer has the legal expertise that you can trust. If you have any questions about leaving the state while under active medical treatment, we are available to help. Reach out to us by phone at (877) 370-5788 or contact us online to set up your no cost, no obligation initial appointment. We provide workers’ compensation representation to injured workers in Phoenix, Maricopa County, and all across Arizona.