Washington workers' compensation benefits do not change if you live outside Washington. The right to receive treatment, time loss, vocational rehabilitation, permanent disability and other benefits remains intact. Washington laws will always apply to your claim regardless of where you live.
L&I does not have branch offices in other states. Your claim will continue to be managed by claims staff located in Washington, though your claim may be assigned to a different claim manager.
- Notify L&I of your new address and phone number in writing immediately upon moving.
- Have an attending doctor manage your treatment and provide reports to L&I regarding your continued eligibility for benefits.
- Cooperate in your treatment and return to work efforts.
- Notify L&I immediately if you return to any type of work, including self‑employment.
- Cooperate with vocational rehabilitation activities.
- Attend L&I or self‑insured employer arranged independent medical examinations.
- If you're thinking of moving out of Washington, learn what you can do to communicate with L&I and find new care.
I moved out of state, but my Washington employer has a job for me
Your time loss benefits could stop if you decline a job approved by your doctor and offered by your Washington employer.
Finding new care providers
- It is your responsibility to find a new attending doctor and other needed providers in your new residence area.
- You must have an attending doctor in order to continue to receive time loss and/or other benefits.
- You must notify us in writing of your new doctor's name, address and phone number.
- Finding a new doctor and/or other providers may be difficult, as many providers don't accept worker's compensation cases from other states or at all.
- All health care providers who treat you must have a provider account with us in order to be paid. This includes pharmacies, hospitals, therapists, doctors, clinics and all other providers.
- See Lni.wa.gov/FindADoc for a listing of providers with current provider status. You can search by zip code and/or provider type. These providers may or may not accept you as a patient.
- If you find a provider willing to accept you, who is not currently an L&I provider, we will send them a provider application or they can download the form. We can also send the provider an information packet.
- Your benefits may be stopped if your new provider does not submit required reports promptly to us. You may be required to find a new provider.
- If you decide to receive care from a provider who won't apply for an L&I provider number, you may have to pay for the care. If the care is approved, we will reimburse you only at our fee schedule rates. This means you may have to pay the difference between what the provider charges and what our fee schedule allows.
Travel for care
You may have to travel a greater distance to receive care for your claim. If so, we may pay for your travel costs. However, your claim manager must pre-approve your travel or you won't be paid.
- Vocational services may continue depending on your ability to participate.
- If you are in an approved retraining plan, relocation is strongly discouraged until after the completion of your plan. In some situations, moving before finishing an approved plan may stop your benefits.
Independent Medical Examinations (IME)
You may have to return to Washington for an independent medical examination. If needed, L&I will pay for your transportation, lodging, meals and wage replacement for lost wages to attend the exam.