Recovering from an injury is not cheap—victims can incur a number of expenses during their recovery. Fortunately, if the injury is work-related, these expenses should be covered by the workers’ compensation system. But, will workers’ compensation cover all the costs, including traveling expenses, you incurred? Here’s what you need to know:
Does the Workers’ Compensation System Cover Travel Expenses?
The workers’ compensation system does cover travel expenses that are related to a victim’s treatment. But, there are certain limits. According to OK Stat § 85A-50, an injured worker is entitled to compensation for travel expenses when he must travel more than 20 miles round-trip to receive treatment or undergo an independent medical examination. If the injured worker travels less than 20 miles round-trip, he does not qualify for compensation for his travel expenses. Furthermore, the law puts restrictions on how far an injured worker can travel for his treatment. The workers’ compensation system will not cover travel expenses when the distance traveled exceeds 600 miles round-trip.
It’s also important to note that the law specifically states that the treatment the worker is traveling to receive must be reasonable and necessary. If the injured worker is traveling a great distance to receive a questionable form of treatment, the workers’ compensation system may not award him benefits for these expenses.
How Injured Workers Are Compensated For Travel Expenses
It’s important to understand how the workers’ compensation system determines how much you are entitled to for your travel expenses. The reimbursement rate is calculated using the guidelines in the State Travel Reimbursement Act. The rates vary from year-to-year, but in 2016, the standard rate was $0.445 per mile. This means if you are entitled to compensation for a 20 mile trip, the workers’ compensation system will award you $8.90.
It’s in your best interest to keep track of the trips you take to visit healthcare providers and attend independent medical examinations. Use a journal to record the dates and distances traveled for each of these appointments. This is the only way to ensure you are fairly compensated for the miles you’ve traveled as part of your recovery.
Have you been injured at work? If so, the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. can help. We help injured workers recover every dollar of compensation they are owed through the workers’ compensation system. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.