The price of gasoline and the stress of battling the Atlanta traffic to get your workers’ compensation medical appointment can add “insult to injury” in some cases. In many cases, injured workers forget, or are simply not informed, that they are entitled to mileage and parking reimbursement for these travel expenses. In some cases, an employee hurt at work may be entitled to the use of a medical transportation company when the injured employee legitimately does not have a way to get to the authorized medical appointment. According to State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Board Rule 203, the Employer/Insurer is responsible for the reasonable cost of travel between the injured employee’s home and the place of examination or treatment or physical therapy or pharmacy. Provided that the travel is completed by a private vehicle (i.e., not supplied by the Employer/Insurer), the mileage reimbursement rate is currently 40 cents per mile.
In the event, the injured worker is required to travel beyond the employee’s home city, the insurance company may be responsible for the actual cost of meals (no more than $30 per day) and reasonable lodging when the total time of the trip to obtain outpatient treatment exceeds 4 hours. For example, some of our clients have lived in Macon, Georgia, and the Employer/Insurer required them to receive treatment at Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic in Atlanta. It took our client almost 2 hours to travel from her home to the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic on Peachtree Road. Additionally, our client spent 40 minutes waiting for and 5 minutes speaking to Dr. Hal Silcox. Subsequently, it took her another 2 hours to come home. As the total travel and outpatient care lasted over 4 hours, she would be entitled to the actual mileage and parking costs, but also to reimbursement for a meal or two during the trip.
In order for the injured worker to receive this reimbursement, the injured worker must submit itemized documentation of his or her authorized and related medical travel along with the “clean receipts” of documenting the expenses incurred.