The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission recently increased the mileage reimbursement injured workers may claim for traveling to and from necessary medical treatment. Injured workers are now eligible to receive 54 cents per miles driven to and from medical treatment over five miles away from home.
Mileage rates for workers’ compensation benefits are based on those afforded to state employees for work related travel. State employee rates are in turn based on federal rates, which were adjusted to 54 cents per mile in 2016.
Mileage Rates Drop in 2016
The newly prescribed workers’ compensation mileage reimbursement rates for injured workers dropped this year after increasing for two straight years. In 2015, mileage reimburse were 57.5 cents per mile. In 2014, the reimbursement rate was 56 cents per mile.
While the mileage reimbursement adjustment may seem insignificant, many rural South Carolinians may rely on these benefits as they live significant distances away from their medical providers. It is important that injured workers focus on healing and returning back to work, not worrying about finances and how to pay for medical treatment.
Workers’ Compensation Medical Benefits
Injured South Carolina workers are entitled to have all necessary medical treatment covered by their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage generally extends to doctors’ visits, medical supplies, prescription drugs, surgery, prosthetic devices, and any hospitalization associated with treatment.
Generally, employers must pay for medical treatment for up to 10 weeks after the accident. After 10 weeks, employers may not have to pay for any more medical treatment unless it would decrease the injured worker’s disability period. Examples could include pain medication and other treatment that would held the injured worker return to work faster.
Disagreements over medical treatment
Sometimes, injured workers may disagree with their treating physicians over the course of their treatment. While the injured employee may feel he or she could benefit from prolonged therapy, the doctor may think differently.
Under South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, injured workers must visit doctors chosen by the employer or its insurance company. Many see this as a conflict of interest, as powerful insurance companies are notorious for placing profits before people.
Workers who find themselves in disagreements with their doctors order to return to work or light duty may file requests for a hearing to sort the matter out. Injured employees should understand insurance adjusters are professionals and have experience attempting to terminate benefits and send workers back to work before they are ready.
Greenville Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you or a loved one were hurt on the job and had your benefits terminated, were ordered to return to work, or otherwise feel you did not receive all of your benefits, contact Double Aught Injury Lawyers for a consultation about your case.
Our Greenville workers’ compensation attorneys have years of experience investigating claims by injured workers and can help you get the benefits you need to recover. Let us handle the paperwork and deal with insurance adjusters so you do not have to.