THIRD QUARTER 2019
By: Randy Schroer
Under Kansas law, is mileage compensable for travel to and from necessary medical care?
Yes. Kansas statutes and regulations do allow for compensable mileage to and from necessary medical care. An injured worker is generally entitled to mileage reimbursement for trips to see a physician for distances in excess of five miles for the round trip.
Pursuant to K.S.A. §44-510h, transportation expenses are included in the duty of the employer to provide medical treatment. K.A.R. 51-9-11(c) states, “If an injured worker drives that worker’s own vehicle or drives, or is driven in, a vehicle of a family member living in the home of the worker, and if any round trip exceeds five miles, the respondent and insurance carrier shall reimburse the worker for an amount comparable to the mileage expenses provided in K.S.A. 44-515.” K.S.A. 44-515(a) provides that mileage to obtain medical services is reimbursed at the rate prescribed for state officers and employees. The mileage reimbursement rate for state officers and employees is 58 cents per mile effective July 1, 2019. Therefore, travel to obtain medical services on or after July 1, 2019, shall be reimbursed at the rate of 58 cents per mile. The rate generally changes annually with the maximum compensation rate.
K.S.A. 44-515(a) also states if employee is required to submit to an examination in any town or city other than the residence of the employee at the time of injury, the employee shall not be required to submit to an examination until sufficient funds to pay for transportation to and from have been advanced. In addition to any tolls or parking fees, the employee is entitled to a $15 per diem for each full day the employee is required to be away from his place of residence. NOTE: Employee’s place of residence at the time of injury is controlling not place of residence at time of examination.