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Bob Helbock's
Workers Compensation Blog

Bob Helbock is among the top workers compensation lawyers in the country.

07.24.14

Can a Workers Compensation claimant go on vacation?

I have received calls from clients recently asking if they are permitted to go on vacation while they are receiving weekly benefits for their disability. It is an interesting question that bears some explanation.

There is no case or law that prohibits a client from going on vacation while they are receiving workers compensation benefits. However, what you do on vacation or where you travel to may affect the credibility of the claim.

If a person is alleging they are "totally disabled" from all work, but they can sit in a car or a plane for hours to travel to a destination vacation then the judge may find their complaints of pain suspect. As with any claim it depends on the specific facts of the case. If a claimant is acknowledging that they have a partial disability that prevents them from doing their past work, but admits they are not bedridden, then they will have more credibility then someone that says they cannot do anything but then flies out of state or to another country. Credibility is the most valuable asset of any witness.

So if you are going rock climbing in Washington State or whitewater rafting on the Colorado River, I would re-schedule my plans. If you are going to the Jersey shore, I would say you will be alright.

The most important thing is not to lie about your vacation if you are questioned. If a claimant lies and says that they did not travel when in fact they did, the insurance company will raise the defense of perjury or fraud. These defenses have criminal implications and are much more difficult to argue your way out of then admitting your took a 3 hour plane flight to a destination vacation.

What do you think? E-mail me at bob@hnglaw.com with your comments.

-Bob Helbock

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