Yes. Simply because an injured worker may have a Workers’ Compensation claim in New York does not mean that he or she is bound to New York State. However, there are some complications that arise when a claimant moves out of New York. At MCV Law, we warn our clients of possible issues that might arise before they decide to relocate and help them resolve some of these issues.
The most common problem we see with out of state claimants is difficulty in finding a doctor who accepts New York Workers’ Compensation as a form of insurance. At MCV Law, we recommend calling around and securing a provider before re-locating out of New York State. This way, injured workers do not end up in a position where they have moved and cannot get medical treatment.
Another common issue that arises, even where an out of state provider is found, is with reporting. Out of state doctors are often unfamiliar with the guidelines and standards for reporting required by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. For example, a doctor must assign a degree of disability at each visit so that an appropriate weekly rate can be set. Often, out of state providers either do not provide a degree of disability in their reports or they assign an incorrect degree of disability using their standards. While the Judge does provide some level of leniency when interpreting reports from out of state providers, it is much easier when the report clearly conforms to New York State standards. It is important to discuss any restrictions and work ability with the out of state provider at each visit and request that he or she provide a statement about your degree of disability under New York Law.
Another common issue that arises when injured workers move out of New York State is when providers attempt to secure authorization to perform certain treatments. The Workers’ Compensation Board has prescribed forms, depending on the type of treatment, which can be found at http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/Forms.jsp. Many out of state providers are unfamiliar with the various forms and how to use them. It is important to assure that the doctor is using the appropriate form when requesting authorization.
While claimants are free to move out of New York State even if they have a Workers’ Compensation claim, they must be aware that they may encounter difficulties finding a physician who will accept New York Workers’ Compensation as a form of insurance. Moreover, they must also be aware that the out of state providers’ reports may not conform to the New York standards. However, with the assistance and direction of an attorney, many claimants are able to obtain treatment out of state without issue.