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Can I be paid for my travel under workers' compensation?

North Carolina's workers' compensation laws provide for payment of travel in some circumstances. When a worker is injured at work, if he or she has to travel more than 20 miles round trip for travel in order to receive care, he or she is entitled for mileage reimbursement for the required travel.

The reimbursement rates are set by the state each year and are adjusted according to inflation. According to the North Carolina Industrial Commission, the rates for reimbursement are currently set at 56 cents per mile. If a person has to travel 20 miles round trip for medical care, this means they can claim reimbursement for more than 10 dollars for the trip.

In order to be able to claim the reimbursement, it is obviously important to keep mileage logs for medical care trips that meet the distance criteria. Vehicle mileage logs should include columns for the date, time, starting odometer reading, starting location, destination and purpose of the trip and ending mileage. Such logs can be kept in the person's vehicle on a clipboard to make it easier to remember. Injured workers who have a workers' compensation case should make it a habit, as documentation makes it more likely they will not face problems in obtaining sick travel reimbursement.

Workers who have received a job injury should be reimbursed for all costs, including travel costs, associated with their work-related injury. Sometimes, employers will attempt to dispute claimed expenses. Having thorough documentation available can help injured workers to successfully overcome the dispute at a hearing. People who are having difficulty receiving reimbursements for injuries through workers' compensation may benefit by speaking with a workers' compensation attorney who may be able to advocate for clients at hearings and through any appeals process.

Source: North Carolina Industrial Commission, "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)", November 02, 2014

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