Many workers injured on the job in Arizona ask me if they are entitled to mileage reimbursement for travel incurred for treatment for their on-the-job injuries. There is no hard and fast rule to answer this. However, the general rule that I use is that if there is no specialist in the area where you live, and you have to travel more than 50 miles to obtain treatment, you are probably entitled to reimbursement for your mileage. The mileage is reimbursed at the federal mileage reimbursement rate, which (last I checked) was 47 cents per mile.
The theory behind this rule is that when the injured worker was working, they were incurring expenses traveling to and from work every day, that they aren’t incurring while off work recovering from their injuries. So they are only reimbursed if the travel to obtain treatment is significantly greater than what they normally travelled to and from work. However, every case is different and every carrier handles mileage reimbursement different.
Also, if your travel takes you to another city and may require you to stay overnight, you may be entitled to meal and lodging reimbursement.
Chad T. Snow is a lawyer who handles workers compensation matters throughout Arizona. He can be reached at his website, Snow, Carpio, and Weekley, or in his Phoenix office at (602) 532-0700 and in Tucson at (520) 647-9000.