Unfortunately, a work-related injury can be financially disturbing for many workers and their families. You will not receive workers’ compensation benefits if your claim is denied. Even if your work-related injury is accepted, many injured workers struggle, because, depending on your pre-injury wages, normally your worker’s compensation benefits are 2/3 of your gross income. For some people who live paycheck to paycheck, reduced wages can be a financial hardship.
Worker’s compensation injuries involve a lot of medical treatment. People often ask if travel expenses are reimbursed by the Carrier. There is a persuasive argument that the carrier should reimburse your travel costs. Unfortunately, following the issuance of an appellate case, Helen Mining Co. V. WCAB, 616 A.2d 759, the law changed. If necessary medical treatment is not available in your area, and you can prove that it’s absolutely necessary to travel out of the state for treatment, there’s a good chance that your expenses should be reimbursed.
“The other rare exceptions were carved out in Helen Mining Co. v. WCAB (Tantlinger), 616 A.2d 759 (Pa.Cmwlth. 1992), in which the court said:
- If treatment is available locally, the claimant is not entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses except in exceptional circumstances;
- If treatment is available locally and the claimant chooses a physician outside the local area, the claimant is not entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses;
3. If treatment is not available locally, the claimant is entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses as long as the claimant travels to a facility where others are or would be referred.”