The mileage rate that workers’ comp claims administrators pay injured workers for travel related to medical treatment or evaluation of their injuries will increase from 51¢ per mile to 55.5¢ per mile for travel on or after July 1, 2011, regardless of the date of injury. The old rate of 51¢ per mile still applies for travel from January 1 through June 30, 2011. The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) has downloadable mileage-expense forms that show the applicable rates based on the travel date on its website, www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms.html and is expected to post an updated form for travel in the second half of 2011 once it receives confirmation from the Department of Personnel Administration.
California Labor Code §4600 (e)(2), in conjunction with Government Code §19820 and Department of Personnel Administration regulations, requires claims administrators to reimburse injured workers for medical mileage at the rate adopted by the Director of the Department of Personnel Administration for non-represented (excluded) state employees, which is tied to the IRS published mileage rate. The IRS normally adjusts the standard mileage rate each fall for the next calendar year based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile, but yesterday IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman announced that recent gas price increases are having a major impact on individual Americans, so the agency is making the special adjustment for the last half of this year. Therefore, for miles driven from July 1 through December 31, 2011, the standard mileage rate will increase to 55.5¢ per business mile driven. The IRS announcement is available in the agency’s online newsroom at http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=240903,00.html?portlet=6 .
CWCI has alerted the Department of Personnel Administration and the DWC of the IRS announcement, so the Division will likely post a Newsline regarding the new mileage rate for travel on or after July 1, 2011 on its website, http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/dwc_newsline.html.