There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that effective July 1, 2011, the mileage reimbursement rate for using your car to go to and from doctors and physical therapists visits increased from 51 cents per mile to 55.5 cents per mile. Injured workers must have traveled more than 20 miles one way for medical care, or alternatively, have traveled a total of 40 miles or more during a week time period to qualify for reimbursement. (NAC 616C.150.) Use a mileage reimbursement form to send to your adjuster (or forward it to my office if you are already a client and we will take care of it for you). Don’t wait until the end of your claim to turn in these forms. They must be sent in within 60 days of your qualifying trips.
The bad news for injured workers is that the state’s maximum average monthly wage for injuries occuring after July 1, 2011 has been decreased slightly again for the second year in a row. This is the figure that is used to calculate lost time compensation benefits and the permanent partial disabilit award. The most an injured worker can collect for being disabled each month on new claims is $3,434.38. That means that if an injured worker is making high wages at the time of her accident after July 1, 2011, she will get far less than 2/3 of her average monthly wage if she is off work and entitled to temporary total disability benefits. Her final award for a permanent impairment will be less also.
Tip If you aren’t receiving maximum compensation benefits, but think you should be, take advantage of a free consultation with an attorney to review the average monthly wage calculation on your claim. You must do this before you accept a PPD award.