Can I recover for transportation costs to and from my medical appointments if my injury is covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act?

Q
Can I recover for transportation costs to and from my medical appointments if my injury is covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?
A

As you know, transportation costs in the metro New York area can add up quickly. Whether you need to take public transportation, a taxi, or drive your own car, the expenses can be overwhelming when you need to get to frequent medical appointments.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Can Provide Relief

According to the United States Department of Labor, you may recover for reasonable transportation expenses that are necessary for the treatment of your work injury pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). Once you have determined that your injury is covered under LHWCA, you will want to start keeping track of travel expenses. This may include things such as trips to your doctor’s office, the hospital, or physical therapy, for example.

If you travel by car, the law allows you to receive reimbursement for reasonable mileage, parking, and tolls. The cost of parking and tolls are easy to establish and you should keep all receipts for parking and toll expenses to submit to the insurance company.

Compensation for mileage is set by the United States General Services Administration. You may recover for whatever rate was in effect at the time of your travel. The government does not have a special form that you need to use to claim mileage reimbursement. However, the insurance company may have such a form for you to complete. Regardless of the specific form, you must have accurate and complete documentation that includes:

  • The date you traveled
  • Where you went (for example, your doctor’s office)
  • Your mileage for the trip. It may be useful to take note of the mileage on your odometer at the beginning of your trip and at the end of your trip.

Transportation costs may not be your biggest expense after a work injury, but it may be an important part of your fair recovery. Thus, it is important to know what you are entitled to and how to make a claim.