If you qualify for workers’ compensation coverage after an accident on the job, you should be able to seek reimbursement for any and all medical expenses necessary to get you back on your feet and, ideally, back to work. However, the term “medical expenses” in this context does not refer just to bills for treatment rendered—it also includes costs you need to take on in order to get to and from the doctor’s office.
Depending on the distance you have to travel in order to see doctors covered by your workers’ comp insurance, mileage reimbursement may be available in your Columbia workers’ compensation case. A qualified workers’ comp attorney could go over your unique circumstances with you and, if you are able to do so, help you seek repayment for the miles you had to travel and certain other expenses you incurred while traveling for medical treatment.
Seeking Reimbursement for Each Individual Mile Traveled
According to South Carolina Code of Regulations §67-1601, a recipient of workers’ compensation in Columbia is eligible to seek mileage reimbursement if they are required to travel more than five miles away from home or more than ten miles roundtrip to seek medical care. This care from a general practitioner, a specialist, a physical therapist, or any other healthcare provider that an employer directs their injured worker to visit.
Mileage for medical care is reimbursed on a per-mile basis, in accordance with the amount per mile that state employees in South Carolina receive when traveling for work. The specific amount available per mile changes every year—for the year of 2020, it is 57.5 cents per mile, but this will almost certainly rise or fall slightly in 2021 and beyond.
In order to actually be reimbursed for mileage traveled, a workers’ comp claimant must keep track of every mile they travel, as well as travel dates and the specific medical professionals they traveled to see. A workers’ compensation attorney could provide a template for tracking medical mileage, and they could also help submit mileage logs on a monthly basis to ensure prompt reimbursement from the claimant’s employer’s representative.
Could Other Travel Expenses Be Covered Too?
In addition to per-mile travel reimbursement, the law also allows workers’ comp claimants to seek compensation for certain other travel expenses as well. State law allows specifically claimants to be reimbursed for actual public transportation costs, as well as actual expenses for lodging and food if overnight travel is required.
Like road mileage, these additional expenses must be accurately logged—and ideally supported with documentary evidence like receipts and ticket stubs—in order to be reimbursed. Legal counsel could provide help with both organizing relevant records and submitting expense reports to the appropriate parties.
Get Mileage Reimbursed Through Workers’ Compensation with Help from a Columbia Attorney
Traveling a long way to go see a specific doctor or medical specialist can certainly be an inconvenient requirement of workers’ compensation, but it does not have to be an expensive one as well. Provided you keep thorough records of where you traveled and what money you spent to cover basic needs while doing so, you should be able to seek mileage reimbursement through your Columbia workers’ compensation case.
A knowledgeable workers’ comp lawyer could offer further clarification about the specific losses and costs you could seek compensation for in your unique situation. To schedule a consultation, call today.