Michigan lawyer explains why a move to another state while on workers comp should not affect the payment of benefits.
Michigan law provides wage loss, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation to people who are hurt on-the-job.
These workers comp benefits are available to individuals who are residents at the time of injury or were hired in the state.
Moving to a new state does not mean the insurance company is off the hook. However, there are a few issues that you should consider.
Call the insurance company
It is important to tell the insurance company about your new address and telephone number. Don’t expect your employer to provide this information. Missing checks need to be reissued and can take weeks to be paid. Consider setting up direct deposit before you leave. Michigan has a new electronic payment rule.
Find a new doctor
You can select your own doctor after 28 days. Any reasonable and necessary medical treatment must be paid. All you need to do is give the insurance company notice of your intention to treat. You must also provide the name and address of the doctor. Insurance companies will fight you because out-of-state doctors are not bound by Michigan’s fee schedule and cost more.
Keep looking for work
Some insurance companies will stop wage loss benefits if a person quits and moves to a new state. Look for a new job to show that you have not removed yourself from the labor market. This is also important if the insurance company says you are only partially disabled and reduces your weekly checks.
The insurance company might schedule you for an independent medical evaluation (IME). You must keep this appointment or risk losing your workers comp benefits. Watch out for insurance companies who insist you drive to Michigan for the IME. You must be reimbursed for your travel costs. This could include airfare, hotels, and meals.
You can avoid many problems by trading your workers comp benefits for a cash settlement. This allows you to do your own medical and vocational rehabilitation. Many of our clients use this money for a fresh start. Negotiate a settlement before you move so that your benefits are not interrupted.
Call (855) 221-2667 to speak with one of our workers comp lawyers in Michigan. We can help you solve minor issues before they turn into major problems. The call and advice is free!
– Alex Berman is the founder of Michigan Workers Comp Lawyers. Hes been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers comp benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.
– Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by Meathead Movers.