The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) in Washington State provides reimbursement for some expenses under your workers’ compensation claim. Expense refund may include travel costs as well as personal property losses. However, if you want L&I to refund these kinds of expenses, you must first meet certain requirements.
L&I claim and refund for travel expenses
Under an L&I claim, L&I doesn’t usually cover travel expenses to and from medical treatment. Yet, there are some exceptions. Reimbursement for traveling to (or from) treatment is contingent on the following requirements:
(1) Travel reimbursement must be pre-authorized by your L&I claim manager;
(2) The medical provider must be more than 15 miles one way (30 miles round trip) from the home address of the work injury claimant;
(3) There can’t be other medical professionals that can provide the treatment closer to the home address of the work injury victim; and
(4) The work injury claimant must complete a Travel Reimbursement Request form and provide copies of all receipts to L&I.
If the requirements are met, then L&I might also reimburse for parking over $10 and for toll road payments.
L&I claim property reimbursement
In some cases, L&I may also reimburse the work injury victim for property lost (or damaged) during a workplace accident. Here, you can get a refund only for certain kinds of personal property. For example, property can include prescription eyeglasses, contacts, clothing, shoes, boots, and personal protective equipment (PPE). To be eligible, the person that suffered the work injury should complete and submit a Statement for Miscellaneous Services to the claims manager.
Workplace injury and work-related diseases have some serious negative financial impact on workers. The goal of the Industrial Insurance Act in Washington State is to minimize the suffering and economic losses for people with a work injury claim. These types of expense reimbursements are one good way for L&I to try and uphold the purpose of the Industrial Insurance Act.