Most people have at least a basic understanding that a company’s workers’ compensation policy pays money to an employee in the event they are injured on the job and cannot currently work. They assume that they’ll be compensated for medical expenses and lost wages, but that’s not all that you’re eligible to collect. Many people are unaware that travel and even meal expenses following a work injury can be recouped during a workers’ compensation claim. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at collecting compensation for travel-related expenses after a Minnesota work injury.
Workers’ Compensation Travel Expenses
If, following a work injury, you are required to travel for an injury-related obligation, you are eligible to receive reimbursement for some expenses you incur. The most obvious type of expense you can recoup is for gas in the form of medical mile reimbursement. As it currently stands in 2022, you are eligible to recoup 58.5 cents per mile traveled as a result of your work injury. This means that if you traveled 20 miles roundtrip to get to a doctor’s appointment that was related to your work injury, you’d be eligible for $11.70 in medical mileage reimbursement.
You are also eligible to recoup other reasonable travel expenses that you incur as a result of your travel to an injury-related appointment. Tolls, parking fees or a bus ticket may all be reimbursed if they are required in order to get to your appointment. You may want to check with your lawyer if you are considering hiring a more expensive form of transportation, like a taxi or an Uber, but these things are also generally compensable so long as the costs are within reason.
You may also be surprised to learn that you can even be reimbursed for meal expenses you incur as a result of your injury-related travels. For example, let’s say you had to travel to see a specialist, and the length of the trip or appointment took place around meal time. You can be compensated for meal expenses, and the Department of Labor & Industry allows for the following reimbursement in Minnesota:
Breakfast – $9.00
Lunch – $11.00
Dinner – $16.00
Again, use your best judgment here, and talk to your lawyer if you have any questions about whether you’re eligible for reimbursement given your appointment schedule. Don’t just schedule a 30-minute doctor’s appointment around lunch time and then assume you’re in the clear to have your lunch tab picked up by workers’ compensation. That said, don’t overlook meal reimbursement in the event you have to pay for meals because it became a necessity during your injury-related travels.
If necessary, lodging may also be reimbursed based on your specific situation. It’s a good habit to save any and all receipts for expenses that are at all related to your injury and recovery.
Finally, it’s also worth noting that any injuries that occur during these injury-related travels may also be compensable through workers’ compensation. Although you are not on the clock at the time of the secondary injury, you were fulfilling duties related to a work-related injury, which makes it potentially compensable. For example, if you’re involved in a car accident while traveling to a doctor’s appointment or heading to fill up your prescription, you may be able to earn additional compensation through another workers’ compensation claim. These claims are rare, but don’t think that you’re out of luck if you suffer another injury while dealing with the fallout of your first work injury.
If you are interested in maximizing your compensation claim and ensuring you get reimbursed for all compensable expenses, make sure you connect with a team like Margolis Law Office who understands the ins and outs of the workers’ compensation system. For more information, or for help with your claim, give our team a call today at (952) 230-2700.
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