How much does workers’ compensation reimburse for mileage and parking?
One of the most difficult aspects of a workers’ compensation claim is the constant travel to and from doctor’s appointments, physical therapy appointments, picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy and going to testing facilities. Besides the time it takes going to these appointments (time you might otherwise spend working), there’s the cost of gas and parking fees.
Fortunately, there is a system in Georgia which requires the workers’ compensation insurance carrier to reimburse the injured worker for mileage and parking fees.
Below, we’ll address 5 common questions when it comes to mileage reimbursement:
- What travel is covered?
- How much is mileage reimbursement?
- How to submit mileage reimbursement and and get paid?
- What is the statute of limitations for mileage reimbursement?
- What are the penalties if the workers’ compensation carrier fails to pay for the reimbursement timely?
What travel is covered under Georgia workers’ compensation?
The Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation (Rule 203(e)) defines the rules for reimbursement for travel. The first and most important aspect of this definition is that the travel must be for authorized medical treatment. This means that the workers’ compensation carrier is paying for the treatment, which includes visits to the authorized treating physician, diagnostic testing that the authorized treating physician has requested, physical therapy, and trips to the pharmacy to obtain medications prescribed by the authorized treating physician.
In addition to mileage, the injured worker can also get reimbursed for parking expenses. It’s very important to keep all parking receipts for submission.
Exceptions to the travel reimbursement rule
There are two main categories of appointments that are NOT included in mileage reimbursements. The first category is non-authorized treatment. This may include treatment from the injured worker’s personal doctor or chiropractor. If the treatment is not authorized, or the case is controverted/denied, then reimbursement for travel to medical appointments are not required.
The second category relates to independent medical examinations (IMEs). If the IME is scheduled by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, they are required to pay the injured worker for the mileage in advance of the appointment. The notice for the examination and the advance payment for mileage have to be received 10 days prior to the appointment. In this scenario, there is no reimbursement because the mileage must be paid beforehand.
How much can you get for mileage/parking reimbursement?
Georgia workers’ compensation law specifies exactly how much an individual is to be reimbursed for travel. Rule 203(e) states that the mileage reimbursement shall be paid at $0.40 per mile.
Additionally, the mileage shall be calculated from the injured worker’s home (or wherever they are living) and the facility. An easy way to calculate this mileage is to use Google Maps or a similar type of service.
Parking reimbursement is dollar for dollar and a receipt must be provided for the money to be paid.
How do you request payment for mileage reimbursement?
Many times the insurance carrier doesn’t inform the injured worker that they can receive mileage reimbursement. We have a convenient form that can be used to help organize the trips to and from all of the providers. (Please contact us immediately and we can provide you with that form.)
How much time do you have to request mileage reimbursement?
It’s very important to note that the injured worker has 1 year from the date of service to submit the mileage reimbursement request. The date of service refers to the date of the appointment, obtaining the prescription or testing.
If the mileage isn’t submitted within this deadline, then the statute will run out and injured worker will not be able to get reimbursed.
What are the penalties if the workers’ compensation carrier refuses to pay for mileage reimbursement?
The workers’ compensation insurance carrier has 15 days to make payment on properly submitted mileage reimbursement. However, a penalty doesn’t start to accrue until after 30 days.
- If the payment is made after 30 days but before 60 days, there is a 10 percent penalty added to the reimbursement owed.
- If the payment is made between 60 and 90 days, there shall be a 20 percent penalty added to the reimbursement owed.
- If payment is over 90 days late, there shall be a 20 percent penalty owed, along with a 12 percent per annum interest charged so long as the payment is late.
If you have any questions about mileage reimbursements, don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Gerber & Holder immediately.