Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | September 19, 2022
In Georgia, anyone who becomes injured on the job is eligible for mileage reimbursement per Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.
Mileage reimbursement helps individuals pay for care-related transportation, and employers are responsible for meeting these legal requirements. Generally, insurance companies are directed to reimburse you for travel expenses, including fuel for trips to the doctor, medical exams, hospital visits, and physical therapy.
If you’ve been injured on the job, learn more about how your Georgia employer can help offset some of the costs related to your recovery.
How Travel Reimbursement Works
According to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, medical expenses include the reasonable cost of travel between the injured worker’s home and their medical appointments.
As such, calculating miles traveled determines reimbursement for travel costs.
Currently, the state of Georgia has a $0.40 per mile allowance, though the rates can change to reflect any significant changes in gas prices.
Additionally, whenever your travel time is four hours or more, your employer can reimburse you the following:
Travel expenses beyond the employee’s home city shall include the actual cost of meals and lodging. Travel expenses shall further include the actual cost of meals when total elapsed time of the trip to obtain outpatient treatment exceeds four hours. The cost of meals shall not exceed $30 per day.
Though every workers’ compensation claim will present unique circumstances, you can have added peace of mind when you know you’ll recover some of the costs of your medical care when you travel far from home.
How Long Does the Process Take?
After you submit a reimbursement request, your company’s insurance company has 30 days to issue the funds for any approved mileage and travel requests. Whenever an insurer fails to pay you on time, you’ll likely be awarded more money as a penalty to the insurer.
It’s important to note that you only have one year to submit a mileage reimbursement request under Georgia law. In other words, when you fail to report medical mileage within a year of your treatment, you can lose out on these reimbursements.
To avoid delays or rejections, you must keep any bills, receipts, and documentation that can back your claim and submit requests as soon as possible.
Exceptions to Mileage Reimbursement
Two types of medical appointments are treated differently under Georgia employment laws.
Georgia laws can be strict regarding the types of medical care and appointments workers can request. When you file a workers’ compensation claim, any treatment must be authorized before scheduling an appointment.
The mileage is not reimbursable when you travel to a non-authorized treatment appointment.
Independent Medical Examinations (IME)
In most workers’ compensation claims, a medical specialist performs an independent medical examination (IME) to evaluate your injury and determine a proper course of action.
The primary goal of an IME is to provide a complete picture of your medical status so that your employer’s insurance company can make the right decisions for treating your injury or illness.
Any time an IME is scheduled, an insurance company is legally obligated to provide you with a payment for mileage in advance. IMEs are not reimbursable because payments are sent ahead of time.
What Happens When an Insurer Doesn’t Reimburse Me?
In many situations, insurance companies may lack due diligence in making timely payments or forgo them altogether. Under Georgia statutes, workers’ compensation insurance carriers have 15 calendar days to make payment on mileage reimbursement.
Penalties imposed on insurance companies increase based on the length of the delay:
- 30 to 60-day delay, 10% added reimbursement
- 60 to 90-day delay, 20% added reimbursement
- Over 90 days, 20% added plus a 12% annual interest on the money owed
If you filed a mileage reimbursement claim and the insurance fails to make a payment, you may want to consult with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.
Contact the Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
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