In Arizona, travel reimbursement is part of a covered medical benefit when you have an Arizona workers’ compensation case. With serious injuries or any injuries for that matter, an injured worker is often required to travel frequently for his or her medical care.
There was a case recently involving a Flagstaff resident. He suffered injuries to his neck and low back. He treated with doctors in Flagstaff. He ultimately ended up having a second opinion with a neurosurgeon in Phoenix. That doctor recommended treatment and the injured worker filed a petition to reopen.
After that, he treated with doctors in Phoenix and commuted from Flagstaff. He requested a hearing for travel expenses under the statute.
The Court of Appeals ended up ruling that because he had doctors in Flagstaff that could provide him with the medical care he needed, he was not entitled to travel reimbursement to physicians in Phoenix.
Compare that scenario to a case from 1999 where an injured worker commuted 230 miles roundtrip to Flagstaff for medical treatment because there was not appropriate medical care in his residence of Seligman. The Court of Appeals in that scenario awarded him travel reimbursement because he was unable to secure appropriate medical care in his area of residence.
Every case is different. But a “good rule of thumb” is that if an injured worker has to travel outside his or her general metropolitan area, he or she may be entitled to travel reimbursement under their Arizona work comp claim. Also keep in mind there was a recent case from 2013 that says claims for travel reimbursement must be made within 24 months of when they occurred.
If you have any questions about travel reimbursement on your work comp claim or any other questions about Arizona workers’ compensation law or Social Security Disability issues, please feel free to call Fendon Law Firm for a free consultation. At Fendon Law Firm we treat our clients like family because we are family.