We asked various questions regarding the Missouri workers compensation mileage reimbursement processes:
Questions Asked & Answers Received
1. Is there a reimbursement for travel expenses? Car, taxi, bus, train, etc.
Yes, but only as set forth in Section 287.140.1, RSMo, quoted below.
2. What is the current mileage rate?
From July 01, 2016, through June 30, 2017, the mileage reimbursement rate is 51 cents per mile, round-trip.
3. Is there a specific form?
The Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation has no required form for an injured Employee (or “Claimant”) to request mileage expense reimbursement from his or her Employer or the Employer’s Insurer or Claims Administrator. Some Insurers and Claims Administrators provide forms for their “Claimants” to use. Typically, Insurers and Claims Administrators want to receive a written request from the “Claimant,” itemized by date, showing the Health Care Provider visited each date with the round-trip mileage for each visit and then signed by the injured Employee (or “Claimant”).
4. Where can I find the form?
Again, there is no particular form required by Chapter 287, RSMo, or the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. As an example, the form preferred by the State of Missouri’s Office of Administration, Central Accident Reporting Office for use by Employees of the State of Missouri when injured on the job may be found on-line at:
5. How do I submit the form, process? Email/fax/mail?
There is no particular method required by Chapter 287, RSMo, or the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. I suggest that you confer with the Claims Adjuster handling the case that you are concerned with to determine the Claims Adjuster’s preferred method of communication. Be sure to write the Insurer or Claims Administrator’s “Claim Number” on all items sent to the Claims Adjuster for review.
6. How long does it generally take to receive reimbursement?
There is no particular time limit on such reimbursements required by Chapter 287, RSMo, or the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation. Feel free to ask the Claims Adjuster about his or her Company’s usual “turn-around time.”
7. What is the follow up process if reimbursement is not received?
Rest assured that the Employer’s representatives do not necessarily have the last word. If necessary, the Employee may choose to seek benefits on a contested basis. However, the burden of proof as to almost all issues is on the Employee. Contested medical issues often require the Employee to hire one or more physicians to be the Employee’s “expert witnesses” at an “Evidentiary Hearing” held before one of the Division’s Administrative Law Judges [ALJ’s]. The Employer/Insurer may hire their own physician experts whose testimony may be in conflict with the testimony of the Employee’s experts. The ALJ will decide which side’s evidence is more persuasive but appeals may follow.
Still, not every case goes through the full-blown litigation process. To attempt to resolve as many cases as possible without contested litigation, the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation offers a variety of opportunities to discuss a possible settlement. Prior to the final settlement, the Division offers a voluntary Dispute Management Program and I am its Mediator. I am a lawyer but I cannot represent any party in a contested case and I am not a Judge—I cannot issue any orders—but I can explain the system and, if desired, speak with an Employer’s representatives to see if some problems can be worked out without putting everyone through the contested litigation process—but, as stated, that is always available, if necessary. You may call me at either 800-7752667 (toll-free from a “land line”) or 573-526-4951 (direct). Or, if you prefer, we may continue by E-mail.
Please be aware that the Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensations cases in Missouri is Section 287.430, RSMo, and it provides that an individual’s right to seek benefits under the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law will expire unless the injured person (alone or with the help of a lawyer) files the required paper form (the “Claim for Compensation” [Form WC-21-A]), within a certain time, which can be as short as two years from the date of the injury or two years from the date of the last voluntary payment of any workers’ compensation benefit on account of the injury at issue—whichever is later. Your contacts with the Division to date do not constitute the filing of a “Claim for Compensation.” The “Claim” forms are available from our Internet site at: https://labor.mo.gov/sites/default/files/pubs_forms/WC-21-A-AI.pdf
Again, the “Claim” forms must be filed on paper. Electronic filing is not available at present. There is no “filing fee.” Filing a “Claim” form also is required if payments are being sought from the Second Injury Fund [SIF] for Permanent Total Disability resulting from the “combination” of an individual’s “pre-existing condition,” together with the permanent disability caused by the individual’s most recent compensable injury. (See, Section 287.220, RSMo, as amended, effective January 01, 2014.) Still, filing the “Claim” form carries no guarantee that any benefits will be awarded. Further, filing a “Claim” form will not keep a case open indefinitely. Unless reasonably steady progress is being made toward a final resolution, a “Claim” eventually may be dismissed for “failure to prosecute.”
If you wish, you may seek to retain a lawyer to represent you. Lawyers generally represent injured workers on a contingency basis (no recovery = no fee) and many offer a free initial consultation. The Missouri Bar has a lawyer referral service, which you may reach by calling 573/636-3635. The Bar may charge a fee to put you in touch with a lawyer.
I hope that that you have found this information useful. If you have other questions about the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Statutes and Regulations or the Division’s forms and procedures, please do not hesitate to get in touch With me. However, no one at this Division may give legal advice as to any particular case. For that, a lawyer must be consulted.
Additional Mileage Reimbursement Information
I am responding on behalf of the Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation to your request for information that was received over this past weekend via E-mail in which you ask several questions about reimbursement for travel expenses, presumably for injured Employees, in the context of the Missouri Workers’ Compensation System. Note that this Division oversees on-the-job injury cases in Missouri but it does not pay any benefits. The money to pay medical bills, lost wages, and other benefits, to qualifying injured Employees, comes from their Employers, directly or indirectly.
To begin, I must say that this communication to you is for the purpose of providing general information to a member of the public about the Missouri Workers’ Compensation System. It does not constitute legal advice. Further, since Workers’ Compensation is handled somewhat differently State by State, the information in this message applies only to those situations in which the applicable law is the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law, Chapter 287 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri [RSMo], the full text of which is available on-line at: http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/ChaptersIndex/chaptIndex287.html
Missouri Workers Compensation Reimbursement Law
To answer your questions about travel expense reimbursement for injured Employees, the key Statute to be aware of is Section 140.1, RSMo, which reads, in pertinent part:
“When an employee is required to submit to medical examinations or necessary medical treatment at a place outside of the local or metropolitan area from the employee’s principal place of employment, the employer or its insurer shall advance or reimburse the employee for all necessary and reasonable expenses; except that an injured employee who resides outside the state of Missouri and who is employed by an employer located in Missouri shall have the option of selecting the location of services provided in this section either at a location within one hundred miles of the injured employee’s residence, place of injury or place of hire by the employer. The choice of provider within the location selected shall continue to be made by the employer. In case of a medical examination if a dispute arises as to what expenses shall be paid by the employer, the matter shall be presented to the legal advisor, the administrative law judge or the commission, who shall set the sum to be paid and same shall be paid by the employer prior to the medical examination. In no event, however, shall the employer or its insurer be required to pay transportation costs for a greater distance than two hundred fifty miles each way from place of treatment.”
Unfortunately, there is no further guidance in Chapter 287, RSMo, as to just how many miles the Employee must travel to receive “necessary medical treatment” in order to be considered to have traveled “outside of the local or metropolitan area from the employee’s principal place of employment.” This may be an issue that must be presented to one of the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Administrative Law Judges [ALJ’s], as discussed later in this message.
All State Reimbursement Forms Can be Found Here
Above Answers Provided By
Glenn Edward Easley [MBE #26521],
Attorney-Mediator; Dispute Management Unit; Division of Workers’ Compensation; Department of Labor and Industrial Relations; State of Missouri;
PO Box 58; Jefferson City, MO 65102-0058;
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