In some cases, the worker is required to travel in order to get the medical attention their condition requires. Are these expenses also covered?
By law, worker’s compensation benefits are available for Missouri employees, and they can be accessed whenever you are injured at work or get sick because of it.
These benefits will cover medical expenses (including medical devices), time off work, and even account for lost wages. However, in some cases, the worker is required to travel in order to get the medical attention their condition requires. Are these expenses also covered?
What Does the Law Say?
When the employee is required to travel in order to access medical treatment outside of the local or metropolitan area of their principal place of employment, they may be able to get their travel expenses covered.
The law states your employer is required to pay the “necessary and reasonable” expenses that come from it.
Depending on the circumstances, these expenses can include transportation and even overnight stays if necessary, in the hospital. It is a rather bureaucratic process, and to make sure you don’t come across any issues, you should keep a detailed account of all the expenses you have, such as:
- Gas receipts
- Bus tickets
- Receipts for any other expenses that are cleared for your case
In some cases, the insurance company will ask for these receipts, and then reimburse you, meaning at least at first you may have to pay for them out of pocket.
What If You Don’t Live in Missouri?
If you don’t live in Missouri and have to commute to work, your employer can choose another doctor located within 100 miles of your residence.
Per Missouri’s laws, your employer has the legal right to choose the doctor who’ll be treating you during your worker’s comp cases. It’s rare for an employer to actually make this decision. Instead, it’s often left at the hands of the insurance company, since they work directly with doctors.
When the injured worker doesn’t reside in Missouri, however, that can be a bit more problematic, especially if the insurance company has no medical connections in your area, and is therefore not allowing you to seek medical treatment in your area.
It is always a good idea to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced Missouri workers comp attorney. From a legal standpoint, you are entitled to access the best medical care under worker’s comp, and a lawyer can help you negotiate with the insurance company and get your travel approved much faster.
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