How Long Must California Workers’ Compensation Cover Mileage?
When you are injured on the job in California, one of the benefits you could receive is mileage pay. California Labor Code § 4600 authorizes employees to claim mileage, parking, and toll costs for all medical treatment related to workers’ compensation claims. You can claim workers’ comp mileage for as long as you receive medical treatment for your covered injury. To ensure that you receive the full benefits you deserve, you should understand the details of workers’ compensation claims, including how long workers’ comp has to pay mileage in California.
What is Mileage Reimbursement in California Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Mileage reimbursement is a rate paid for travel to and from medical facilities, pharmacies, and therapy where you receive treatment for a work-related injury. According to California law, workers’ compensation must provide reimbursement of 21 cents per mile, or the amount determined by the Director of Human Resources, whichever is higher. This benefit is designed to reduce the cost burden associated with travel to and from medical appointments. If you’re unsure whether you are eligible for mileage reimbursement, a workers’ compensation attorney can help.
How is the Mileage Benefit Calculated for California Workers’ Comp?
If you are injured in a workplace incident, you can claim the cost of mileage, parking, and bridge tolls for the trips from your home to medical appointments related to your injury. California’s Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) updates the mileage benefit every year based on the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standard mileage rate. The most recent mileage rate announced by the IRS was 62.5 cents per mile. Bridge and road tolls vary depending on your location and the time of day. Check the toll schedules in your area to obtain detailed information. Workers’ compensation provides reimbursement after the trip, and you must document all mileage expenses. To support your claim, keep your toll receipts, parking receipts, and other proof of travel expenses.
How Do I Submit a Request for Mileage Reimbursement to California Workers’ Comp?
For reimbursement for your mileage in a workers’ compensation case, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) requires you to complete and submit a medical mileage expense form. The DIR updates the form each time there is a mileage rate adjustment, so be sure to select the most recent version.
To secure a mileage reimbursement, complete the following information in the interactive form:
- Traveled from
- Traveled to
- Round trip mileage
- Parking costs
The medical mileage expense form will automatically calculate your total mileage reimbursement. Attach your receipts proving your mileage, parking, and toll expenses and send them to the workers’ compensation insurance claims administrator handling your case. Be sure to keep copies of all forms and receipts for your own records.
When Do I Receive a Mileage Reimbursement for Workers’ Comp?
Your workers’ compensation insurance claims administrator should provide you with payment for your mileage, tolls, and parking expenses within 60 days of receipt of your reimbursement form. If you do not receive mileage reimbursement within 60 days, contact the claims administrator or your attorney. If your payment is unnecessarily delayed, the workers’ compensation insurance company may have to pay a penalty.To seek penalties for delayed mileage reimbursement, you must file an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) and submit a petition for penalties. The process is complicated, so you may wish to hire a workers’ compensation attorney familiar with California laws to assist with your claim.
How Long Will California Workers’ Comp Pay Mileage on my Claim?
You can request mileage reimbursement for medical treatments related to your workers’ compensation claim for as long as you receive treatment for your workplace injuries. Once you reach maximal medical improvement (MMI), you will either be able to return to work or apply for permanent disability benefits. At this point, mileage reimbursement for your workers’ compensation claim will cease.
Are There Limits on Mileage Reimbursements for California Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation laws in California explain that you must seek medical treatment within a reasonable distance of your home or place of work. Most employers have a medical provider network (MPN) or health care organization (HCO) designated for workers’ compensation claims. This distance differs depending on the medical treatment options available in your geographic area.
What Other Benefits Can I Claim for Workers’ Comp in California?
The workers’ compensation system is designed to support employees who suffer work-related injuries. If you experienced a work-related injury in California, you could seek other benefits, including:
- Medical care: Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover all medical visits and treatments related to your workplace injury.
- Temporary disability: If you are unable to return to work due to your injuries, you may receive temporary disability benefits.
- Permanent disability: If you do not completely recover from your workplace injury, you may be eligible for permanent disability, which pays a percentage of your income based on your impairment level, injury date, and prior wage level.
- Supplemental job displacement benefits: If you can work, but not for the same career you had previously, you could obtain a voucher for vocational education and retraining.
- Death benefits: If someone you love died due to a workplace injury, you could pursue death benefits, including burial expenses.
Consult With Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in California
If you or someone you love were injured in a workplace accident, you could seek mileage reimbursement for your trips to and from medical treatment for your work injury. The process can be complicated, so it is best to work with an attorney to seek the maximum possible benefits for your workers’ comp claim.