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Out of State L&I Claims

Can I still get my L&I benefits if I move out of Washington?

Yes, but it isn’t easy. Injured workers benefits do not change if they live outside Washington State. The right to receive treatment, time loss, vocational rehabilitation, permanent disability and other benefits remains the same. Your responsibilities for your claim will remain the same. Washington laws will always apply to your claim regardless of where you live.

Do I need to notify L&I that I have moved?

You will need to let L&I know right away that you have moved so your claim isn’t delayed. Address changes must be submitted in writing via fax or mail and include your claim number and signature. We have this form for you: Change of address.

You can also update your new address on the claim and account center.

When you let L&I know you’ve moved out of state, they will transfer your claim to an out of state claims manager. The out of state unit current Supervisor, as of this writing, is Jessica Patterson 360-902-6087.

What about an out of state doctor?

You must have an attending physician manage your treatment and provide reports to L&I regarding your continued eligibility for benefits. This attending physician must be an approved Washington State L&I provider.  This can be the most difficult aspect of having an out of state claim. Most doctors and health-care providers in other states don’t accept Washington State workers’ compensation cases. However, if you are going to have an out of state claim then you have to find a doctor. There are two ways to do this:

  1. L&I has a list of doctors who are or may still be an L&I provider because they have handled cases in the past, in your state, for other Washington injured workers. You may be able to find a doctor from this out of state doctor list.
  2. You can also find your own physician, and ask them if they will become a Washington State L&I provider.

How does my new doctor get paid?

If the doctor has a Washington State L&I provider number already then his getting paid is easy. If the doctor doesn’t already have a State of Washington L&I provider number then this can be the difficult part. All health care providers who treat you must have a provider account with Washington L&I in order to be paid. This includes physicians, hospitals, pharmacies therapist and all other providers. They can obtain a provider account by completing a provider application and submitting it to L&I. Here is a link to the provider application. The problem is that this paperwork is a hassle for the doctor and they may or may not be willing to do this for you.

How do I tell L&I who my new doctor is?

You should notify L&I of your new doctor, so they can communicate with your doctor regarding your claim. Use the Change of Attending Physician form.

Can I still get my vocational rehabilitation benefits in another State?

Yes, you are still entitled to Washington L&I vocational services if you live or move out of state. You must be available to participate in vocational services if you move.

Relocation is discouraged in the middle of assessment, plan development, or retraining. If you’re going to move; it’s best to move between one, but not during, one of these phases. Your benefits could stop if you move while you are in an approved retraining plan and you aren’t available to participate.

Identification of the relevant “labor market” becomes complicated with an out of state move.

If you need legal counsel regarding your L&I benefits, contact Seattle Workers’ Comp attorney Christopher Sharpe today.

What’s Next?