Payment of Mileage, Transportation, and Travel Costs through Workers Compensation in Virginia
If you were hurt on the job, you may be entitled to many types of workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia. The most common benefits include temporary total disability, which provides income when you miss time from work, and lifetime medical treatment for all reasonable and necessary care related to your workplace injuries.
Obtaining medical treatment and filling prescription medication to treat your symptoms often requires a lot of travel and driving. This can get expensive – especially if you have no other source of income or you are waiting for a workers’ compensation hearing to determine whether you’re entitled to wage loss benefits.
Fortunately you are entitled to reimbursement for mileage and travel expenses related to your medical treatment if you are an injured worker who proves that you sustained a compensable injury by accident arising out of and in the course of your employment. Your employer is responsible for mileage from your home to the doctor, pharmacy, or therapist.
Further, your employer must pay mileage reimbursement for expenses to and from activities associated with vocational rehabilitation. For example, you will get reimbursed for travel to meet the vocational counselor, as well as travel to job interviews and job fairs.
Keeping Track of Mileage Reimbursement for Workers’ Compensation
The Virginia Workers’ Compensation sets the mileage reimbursement rate, which is usually based on the rate set by the IRS. The 2017 mileage reimbursement rate is 55.5 cents per mile. This rate is meant to take into account the costs associated with owning a car, including insurance premiums, maintenance, and repair.
To get reimbursed by your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier, you must keep detailed track of your expenses. When you hire us as your workers’ compensation attorney, we’ll provide you with a detailed log that you can use to keep track of mileage and travel expenses. For each trip, you should write down the address and exact mileage using either the odometer or an online tool. You should include the cost of any tolls or parking expenses associated with travel for the medical treatment or vocational rehabilitation in your log.
When you fill out an entire page, send it to the employer or insurance carrier in your case. We recommend attaching medical reports or receipts that show you traveled to the places listed in your mileage reimbursement log.
We recommend submitting the log every two weeks. This reduces the length of time you are out of pocket for transportation to doctor appointments and other medical visits.
What if I Do Not Have Transportation to a Medical Appointment?
Missing a doctor’s appointment or scheduled meeting with the vocational rehabilitation counselor gives the insurance company an excuse to file an application to suspend your benefits. Do not give the insurance company a way to cut off your payments!
We realize that you may not have transportation while waiting to receive your workers’ comp benefits or that you are unable to drive because of your injuries. That’s ok. The employer and its insurance company must help you.
The employer is obligated to pay the cost of transportation for you to attend medical appointments or vocational training courses. But you must notify the employer and its insurance carrier that transportation is required.
We recommend notifying the insurer at least two days’ in advance if you do not have transportation to a doctor’s visit. And give this notice in writing! That way you build a record of trying to get to the doctor. This will help you defeat any attempt by the insurance company to suspend your benefits for failure to cooperate with medical treatment or vocational rehabilitation.
Get Help with Mileage and Transportation Costs Following a Workplace Accident
When you are out of work because of an on-the-job injury and facing uncertainty over whether you will be able to recover fully, finances are tight. But you are entitled to reimbursement for mileage and transportation.
These expenses add up, so don’t be surprised if the employer and insurance company make it difficult to receive reimbursement. That’s where we can help.
Have questions about workers’ comp? Looking for help obtaining reimbursement for gas and transportation? Contact work injury lawyer Corey Pollard today for a free consultation. We help injured employees throughout Virginia win their case and obtain workers’ compensation settlements.