When you suffer a work-related injury, you can expect to incur a number of costs and losses. It’ll cost money to receive treatment for your injuries, and you potentially lose some income if your medical condition prevents you from returning to work immediately.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation can cover your medical expenses and lost income. But what about the money you’ve spent on fuel to drive to a doctor’s appointment?
Yes, workers’ compensation in North Carolina can cover sick travel. There are limitations to when it triggers and how much is paid, but this benefit can help those traveling far to receive proper care.
How does sick travel reimbursement work?
If an employee travels 20 or more miles round trip from their home to a healthcare facility, they can collect travel reimbursement from their workers’ comp insurer. As of January 2024, the reimbursement rate is 67 cents per mile, based on the IRS’ standard for medical travel. The travel must be for treatment that’s reasonable and necessary.
Note that a different mileage rate may apply if you traveled for a workers’ compensation case before January 01, 2024.
Your employer or insurer might also limit reimbursement based on the distance to the medical provider. If similar treatment is available closer to your home, your employer or insurer may not reimburse you for longer travel.
Keeping track of travel
Of course, you can’t file a reimbursement without submitting records of your sick travel. You’ll want to keep track of the following information each time you travel for medical treatment:
- Dates of travel
- Receipts for tolls, parking and lodging
If you’re dealing with a work-related injury in North Carolina and facing travel for medical treatments, remember you’re entitled to seek reimbursement for your travel expenses. Keep meticulous records and stay informed about the state’s regulations to ensure you’re compensated fairly. If your employer or insurer refuses to provide travel reimbursement, consider seeking a legal professional to help you appeal the denial.