Mileage Reimbursements: The Most Overlooked Benefit in Workers’ Comp
Injured workers are entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses. In my experience, injured workers are seldom informed of this benefit by their claims adjusters, resulting in significant savings for the insurance providers and financially hampering injured workers who are already facing tremendous economic strain from their accidents.
How does mileage reimbursement work?
Reimbursable travel expenses include mileage to and from medical providers that are more than 5 miles away from home (i.e., 10 miles round trip). The current mileage reimbursement rate, effective January 1, 2023, is 65.5 cents per mile. For unpaid mileage in 2022, the rate of reimbursement is 62.5 cents.
Mileage reimbursement is not limited to doctors’ offices but also includes physical therapy, pharmaceutical visits and other authorized medical attention.
How should I keep track of my mileage?
I highly recommend all injured workers maintain a mileage log that is updated in real-time and turned in on a regular basis. The mileage log should include the following:
- The date of the medical treatment
- The facility or practice visited
- The total distance traveled
For those traveling more frequently and greater distances, you may want to turn in your mileage log on a bi-weekly basis; others traveling less frequently or less far may want to report mileage every 2-3 months.
If we are representing you, we’re happy to provide you with blank mileage logs, and you should turn in your mileage sheets to your attorney or paralegal so we can facilitate prompt payment from the claims adjuster. If you’re unsure of the dates of your medical care, call us, and we can help you get the correct travel dates recorded.
Can I get reimbursed for public transportation and hotel expenses?
In addition to mileage reimbursement, injured workers are entitled to reimbursement for public transportation expenses and, when traveling longer distances, reimbursement for the costs of reasonable overnight lodging and meals. It’s important you save your receipts for transportation, hotels and meals and turn those in upon your return home.
Your rights to travel reimbursement
Travel reimbursement is not negotiable. This reimbursement benefit is provided for in the Regulations of the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Some insurance adjusters may try to resolve unreimbursed travel expenses as part of a lump-sum settlement at the conclusion of your case. This practice is not acceptable.
The better course for you is to seek reimbursement regularly as the costs are incurred. Do not accept less than 100% of what is owed to you for your travel. Travel reimbursement really adds up over time. It may seem a bit tedious and unnecessary for any particular office visit, but if your travel is not recorded, you may have forfeited thousands of dollars by the end of your claim.
If you feel your mileage benefit or any other aspect of your workers’ compensation case has been overlooked, please contact our Columbia injury law firm for a free consultation.
Meet the counsel: George Taylor
As a founding partner of SBLTV, George represents personal injury victims and injured workers in South Carolina. With hundreds of cases handled at the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission and various state and federal courts, he is deeply experienced in both trials and appeals.
Passionate and personable, George is dedicated to championing for injury victims and building strong client relationships.