The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an increase in the mileage reimbursement rate for the second half of 2022. The standard mileage reimbursement rate for all business-related travel will be 62.5 cents per mile from July 1, 2022 to December 31, 2022. The mileage reimbursement rate was previously 58.5 cents per mile—meaning it is increasing by 6.8%.

It is somewhat uncommon, but certainly not unprecedented for the IRS to adjust the reimbursement rate in the middle of the year. The change is driven primarily by the sharp and persistent increase in fuel prices. In this article, our Bakersfield workers’ compensation defense attorney explains the key things to know about med-legal mileage reimbursement in California.

California Med-Legal Workers’ Compensation Mileage Reimbursement Rate is Rising

In California, the med-legal mileage reimbursement rate for workers’ compensation follows the federal guidelines. Shortly after the IRS announcement, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) confirmed that the state is raising the “mileage rate for medical and medical-legal travel expenses by 4 cents to 62.5 cents per mile effective July 1, 2022.” Consistent with IRS guidance, the adjusted reimbursement rate for mileage is expected to remain in effect until at least December 31, 2021. In December, the IRS is expected to set the rate for 2023.

California Law: Workers Have a Right to Get Mileage Reimbursed

California law is clear: The state’s no-fault workers’ compensation insurance program covers mileage reimbursement for medical and legal costs. An employee who was hurt on the job and has had their workers’ compensation claim accepted is entitled to mileage reimbursement for:

  • Medical Mileage: Medical mileage covers transportation to all reasonable and necessary medical appointments that are covered by workers’ compensation, including things like rehabilitative care, treatment by a specialist, and mental health support.
  • Legal Mileage: A worker can claim a mileage reimbursement for all required legal proceedings. For example, a worker required to attend a deposition as part of getting their workers’ compensation benefits can get a mileage reimbursement for that transportation.

The Reimbursement Rate is Based on the Actual Date of Travel

In California, the medical and legal mileage reimbursement rate for workers’ compensation related travel is based on the date that the travel actually took place. It does not matter when the claim was accepted or when the travel was scheduled. For example, imagine that an injured employee was scheduled for two medical evaluations. The first was on June 15, 2022 and the second on July 15, 2022. Any mileage for the first appointment would be reimbursed at the previous rate of 58.5 per mile. However, the reimbursement rate for the July appointment would be 62.5 per mile.

Get Help from Our California Workers’ Compensation Defense Law Firm

At Yrulegui & Roberts, our California workers’ compensation defense lawyers represent employers, insurers, and claims administrators. If you have any questions or concerns about mileage reimbursement rates, our legal team can help. Reach out to us by phone or contact us online to arrange your strictly confidential case review. We provide workers’ compensation defense services to clients in Bakersfield, Kern County, and throughout Central California.