Bulletin No. 02-01
February 7, 2002

Medical and Medical Legal Travel Expense Rates Increase

  Effective October 1, 2001, the mileage rates for medical and medical-legal travel expenses have increased to 34 cents per mile.

 Mileage rates for injured workers in a vocational rehabilitation plan are governed by the plan.  Reimbursement rates for those under vocational rehabilitation but not yet in a plan should be set at 34 cents per mile.

 Labor Code Section 4600, in conjunction with Government Code Section 19820 and the Department of Personnel Administration regulations, establishes the rate payable for mileage reimbursement for medical and medical-legal expense.  For a number of years the mileage rate has been 31 cents per mile.

 Effective October 1, 2001, the Department of Personnel Administration amended its travel rules and established a mileage rate of 34 cents per mile.  (Title 2, California Code of Regulations, Section 599.631(a).)  The changes are effective for travel on October 1, 2001 regardless of the date of injury.  The DWC Audit Unit assesses penalties for failure to reimburse the appropriate mileage rate.  However, in order to allow for a reasonable period of time for claims administrators to inform all claims personnel of the changes, the Audit Unit will refrain from assessing penalties for violations which occur before April 1, 2002.

 It should be noted, however, that claims administrators are required to pay the injured worker for mileage at the higher rate retroactive to October 1, 2001.