When you sustain an injury at work you will incur time and expense traveling to and from your doctor’s office. Workers’ Compensation Law § 13(a) requires an employer or its carrier to reimburse a claimant for expenses incurred in traveling to or from a hospital or a physician’s office for treatment (Matter of Young v Ceramic Tile Contractors, 288 AD2d 570 ). The Workers’ Compensation law compensates you for the wear and tear on your vehicle. As of January 1, 2016, the Workers’ Compensation carrier will reimburse your 54 cents per mile.
You should keep track of your mileage on Workers’ Compensation Board form C-257 and submit it every few months. The form can be found on the Workers’ Compensation Boards website http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/forms/c257.pdf.
You should utilize Google Maps, Map Quest or another navigation website to determine the distance between your home and the doctor’s office. You should attach this to your mileage form to avoid any disputes or delays in your reimbursement.
The request for mileage reimbursement is not without limitations. You are entitled to reimbursement for attending your doctor’s appointments and other treatments you receive, such as physical therapy appointments and traveling for diagnostic testing such as an MRI, but you do not receive mileage for traveling to and from your pharmacy or attending hearings at the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Having a friend or relative drive you to your appointment is reimbursable at the approved rate. However, using services such as taxi cabs is only reimbursable if you can show that you have no access to a motor vehicle (either personally or through family members), your medications prevent you from driving, or you are not reasonably located near a bus route and/or the taking of the bus would be too arduous (i.e. it would take too long and/or require too making changes). This would need to be documented with proof from your doctors and you should never use a car service without consulting our office first as without such proof, the expenses you incur will not be reimbursed.
Unfortunately, there is no time frame in the Workers’ Compensation Law for which the carrier must pay your reimbursement. When you submit your mileage please retain a copy for yourself. If you have not received your reimbursement within 60 days, please contact the office and ask to speak to one of our highly trained legal assistants.