When you have been injured on the job and require medical care,you are eligible for mileage reimbursement under Georgia workers’ compensation laws for your care-related transportation expenses. Your employer’s insurer should reimburse you for expenses such as your fuel for trips to your authorized doctor, IME provider, hospital, and specialist referrals including physical therapy.
Reimbursement for Travel Expenses
Board Rule 203(d) states: “Medical expenses shall include but are not limited to the reasonable cost of travel between the employee’s home and the place of examination or treatment or physical therapy, or pharmacy.” Your reimbursement is calculated per mile traveled. Because of fluctuations in fuel prices, this figure is subject to change at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s discretion. In 2000, the mileage rate was $0.25 per mile, and in 2005, it increased to $0.28. Then the fuel crisis impacted the economy and increased rates once again. As of the date of this writing, injured workers are now entitled to receive $0.40 per mile.
Also, when you need care that is “beyond your home city” and the travel time is four hours or more, you are entitled to recover the actual cost of your meals and lodging. The cap on the cost of meals is $30 per day.
How Long Do Reimbursements Take
After you submit a request for reimbursement, the insurance company has thirty (30) days to reimburse you for approved expenses. If the insurance company fails to reimburse you within thirty (30) days of receiving your request, a penalty will be added to the reimbursement amount.
You must submit a request for reimbursement within one (1) year of the date of service (that is, the date of the medical treatment you received). And failure to do so will mean that you will not be entitled to reimbursement from the insurance company.
Staying on Top of Your Workers’ Compensation Case
While you can recover mileage reimbursement, if you don’t submit documentation of these costs to the insurer, you won’t receive compensation for them. This is why it’s so important to keep track of your mileage and other travel expenses, and to save your receipts.
The law specifies that if you don’t submit your request for reimbursement for travel expenses within one year, you forgo your rights to compensation for them. When you are unable to work and are living off of workers’ compensation benefits, every little bit counts. A trip to the doctor’s office that’s 30 miles from your home (60 miles round-trip) is another $24 in your pocket. For a trip to a treatment center six hours away, you might be due reimbursement for $288 in gas, $80 for a hotel, and $30 for meals. It adds up. Our tip: Stay diligent in tracking your mileage and expenses.
Getting the Workers’ Compensation Benefits You Deserve
When you sustain a work-related injury or illness, you are entitled to several benefits, including medical treatment. If you need help filing for mileage reimbursement or have any questions about what benefits to which you are entitled, call our workers’ compensation attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, in Atlanta. Contact us today for a free consultation at your convenience: 678-562-5595.