While most people know that injured workers are entitled to compensation for the cost of their medical care, many people don’t realize that mileage and other travel expenses can also be reimbursed under the state’s workers’ compensation law. Including these expenses as part of your workers’ compensation claim can help alleviate some of the financial strain associated with your injury and inability to work.
Reimbursable Travel Expenses According to State Board of Workers’ Compensation
Reimbursable travel expenses fall into a few distinct categories:
- Mileage: Workers who are injured on the job can receive mileage reimbursement for the cost of traveling between their home and any necessary doctor’s appointments or physical therapy appointments. Travel to a pharmacy to pick up prescriptions related to the injury is also reimbursable. Mileage is currently reimbursed at 40 cents per mile.
- Professional transportation services: If you have no other way to attend your necessary medical appointments, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the services of a medical transportation company. The insurer may arrange for such transportation at its own expense. In some cases, taxi service may also be reimbursable as a form of transportation to your necessary appointments.
- Parking: Parking is considered a reimbursable expense if it’s related to your need to seek medical treatment.
- Meals and lodging: If you are required to travel beyond your home city and will spend four hours or more on the road, you are allowed to recover the cost of your meals and lodging. However, reimbursement for meals is limited to a maximum of $30 per day.
Documenting Travel Expenses
Reimbursement for travel expenses is available to anyone who is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. This includes both full-time and part-time employees, as well as most temporary or seasonal workers regardless of the length of time they’ve been working for their current employer.
There is no official form that is used to document travel expenses for workers’ compensation reimbursement. When you are seeking reimbursement for mileage, you should prepare the same type of record you’d use to deduct mileage on your income taxes. Keep a log documenting:
- Date and time of the trip.
- Purpose of the trip.
- The places you visited for medical purposes.
- Your start and end mileage according to your vehicle’s odometer.
If you purchased gas for your vehicle while traveling, save your receipts to support your mileage log claim. If you’re seeking reimbursement for meals and lodging, keep these receipts as well.
You must submit your request for reimbursement within one year of the date the treatment took place. The workers’ compensation insurer has 15 days to provide reimbursement after you’ve submitted documentation of mileage, meals, and lodging. If the insurer doesn’t pay within this timeframe, it can be subject to a late penalty.
Maximizing Your Available Compensation
When you’re injured and facing the stress of being unable to work, taking the time to document your travel expenses might seem like an unnecessary hassle. However, if you’re going to several doctors’ appointments each week or live usually far from your healthcare provider, these expenses can quickly add up. To protect your financial future, you need to do everything in your power to maximize your workers’ compensation benefits.
If you’re struggling to receive payment for a work-related injury, hiring an attorney with experience in workers’ compensation claims will allow you to focus on your recovery without the hassle of dealing with the insurance company directly. The legal team at Rechtman & Spevak is committed to helping injured Georgia workers receive the compensation they need to move forward with their lives. Please call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.