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L&I Travel Reimbursement

If you’ve been injured at work and have an open L&I claim with the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I), you may have the right to travel reimbursement benefits. These benefits are relatively small and only available in certain circumstances and must be submitted within a year of travel.

woman riding a bus on her way to a doctors appointment and she will need travel reimbursement for her trip

What Is Covered Under L&I Workers’ Comp Travel Reimbursement?

Travel reimbursement is for expenses incurred in connection with medical treatment and must be pre-authorized. Workers’ comp travel reimbursement will be provided if:

  • Your medical treatment is with an L&I-approved provider.
  • The provider is further than 15 miles one way from your home (30 miles round trip).
  • The Travel Reimbursement Request form is complete, including a copy of all expense receipts.
  • You needed to pay for parking over $10, tolls, and some other travel expenses.

Qualified Travel Expenses

Travel reimbursement could be paid in connection with medical treatment if they are pre-authorized. The current allowed rates can be found on L&I’s Reimbursement Rates for Lodging, Meals, and Privately-Owned Vehicle Mileage form. Some of the items that you may be reimbursed for include the following:

  • Mileage
  • Bus or train fare
  • Fuel costs
  • Parking fees (over $10)
  • Tolls
  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Lost wages

Travel Out of State

Travel reimbursement could be paid in connection with medical treatment out of state if it is pre-authorized.

What Is NOT Covered Under L&I Workers’ Comp Travel Reimbursement?

L&I will often deny requests for workers’ comp travel reimbursement if you:

  • Are within 15 miles of an L&I-approved medical provider but choose not to see that provider.
  • Are traveling only to pick up prescription medication.

It is important to note that L&I never reimburses for the first and last 15 miles of the trip — so you are only able to get reimbursed for each mile after mile 31.

If you meet the criteria for workers’ comp travel reimbursement, make sure to keep detailed records of all of your travel expenses.

How Do You Get Workers’ Comp Travel Reimbursement?

Complete A Travel Reimbursement Request Form

Your Travel Reimbursement Request must be filled out and submitted within one year of the trip and must indicate the date, destination, and reason for travel.

Receipts are required. All travel expenses must be submitted via receipt with the exception of parking expenses under $10.

When Is Pre-Authorization Required?

Reimbursement must be pre-authorized by your L&I Claims Manager.

How Much Travel Expense Is Reimbursed?

Your L&I Claim Is Worth More If You Also Have An Employment Law Claim

A significant number of L&I workers’ compensation claims often involve additional legal claims such as employment law or third-party claims. Many people file their claims without seeking representation from an L&I attorney and thus never discover that in addition to their L&I claim, they may be missing out on the ability to file an employment law claim or a third-party claim. Pursuing additional legal action by hiring an experienced labor and industries attorney has the potential to significantly increase a claim’s overall compensation.

What Is An Employment Law Claim?

Many injured workers find that their employer has taken, or plans to take, adverse action against them because they filed an L&I claim or they are out of work. You can file a lawsuit against your employer for several reasons, including retaliation, wrongful termination, disability discrimination, or unpaid wages. An L&I attorney who is experienced in both L&I workers’ compensation law and employment law can help you with your L&I claim while simultaneously filing a federal or state law claim for the violation of workers’ rights by your employer.

What Is A Third-Party Claim?

A third-party claim is one in which someone other than your employer or co-worker is responsible for your injury. If you have been injured on the job due to someone else’s actions or negligence, you may be entitled to additional compensation through a third-party claim, which combines your L&I claim with a personal injury claim using the same facts.

Unlike workers’ compensation payments, there is no limit to the amount of compensation an injured worker may seek in third-party damages.

Who Is At Fault For A Workplace Injury?

L&I is a no-fault system, ensuring compensation for any workplace injury. However, if a third party is involved in causing the injury, you may be able to pursue legal action against them with the help of a Seattle labor and industries lawyer for additional compensation under third-party claims.

How Do I Know If I Have A Strong L&I Claim?

If you have an L&I claim or wonder if you have an injury case, ask yourself the following:

  • Have you been denied the medical care benefits to which you are legally entitled?
  • Has L&I asked you to undergo an Independent Medical Exam (IME)?
  • Do you have questions about the L&I claim process that you don’t understand?

If any of the above apply to you, Emery | Reddy may be able to help you with your claim.

Navigating an L&I claim can be difficult and very time-consuming, especially when you’re ill or injured. You want to focus on healing and make sure your bills are paid, but if you don’t file things properly or on time, your health, home, and job could be in jeopardy. Many individuals miss out on much-needed L&I benefits because they don’t understand what to do or how to get the most compensation for their injuries. If you are experiencing any challenges in your case, a labor and industries attorney can assist you. By contacting Emery | Reddy as soon as possible after you’ve been injured, we can help you avoid the common pitfalls of filing an L&I claim. Our Seattle L&I attorneys are here for you every step of the way.

Emery | Reddy Can Help You With Your L&I Claim

Emery | Reddy is the only law firm in Washington State that is equipped to provide comprehensive representation on your case from every angle. We thoroughly assess every case to determine if our clients have additional claims, and at times this can extend far beyond the underlying workers’ compensation claim.

If you have been injured in the workplace call Emery | Reddy today to speak with our legal team for a free case review. Please remember to have your L&I claim number readily available.

Want More Information?

Independent Medical Exam (IME) 

If you sustain a serious or life-changing injury, and you’re no longer able to work, you could be entitled to a Washington state L&I disability pension.


The L&I workers’ compensation process is anything but straightforward. Find out the answers to your L&I workers’ comp questions today.

L&I Claim 

When you get hurt, fall ill, or contract certain types of disease at work, you’re entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

Meet The Team

The L&I attorneys at Emery | Reddy are passionate about helping workers with L&I claims and employment law issues. We Help Workers®: it’s our motto and what drives us every day.

We know how L&I and big companies think, and we understand the tactics they use. Our L&I attorneys use that knowledge coupled with over two decades of experience to help our clients get access to the L&I benefits to which they are legally entitled and hold employers accountable when they break the law.

If you’re struggling with an L&I claim, injury, or legal issue at work, please call us and see how Emery | Reddy can help you today.

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Timothy W. Emery

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Patrick B. Reddy

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Karolina S. Arthur

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Paul Cipriani, Jr.

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