The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the standard mileage rate for business miles will decrease from 56.5¢ per mile to 56.0¢ per mile as of January 1, 2014. The California Workers’ Compensation Institute notes that this means the mileage rate that California workers’ compensation claims administrators pay injured workers for travel related to medical treatment or evaluation of their injuries should be adjusted to the IRS rate for travel on or after January 1, 2014, regardless of the date of injury. Claims administrators, however, should continue to pay the current rate of 56.5¢ per mile for travel from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013.
State law [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 such expenses 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. In a December 6 news release (http://www.irs.gov/2014-Standard-Mileage-Rates-for-Business,-Medical-and-Moving-Announced), the IRS announced that as of January 1, 2014, the standard mileage rate would decrease to 56.0 cents per business mile driven. The IRS bases the standard mileage rate on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile.
There have been multiple mileage rate changes since 2008, so the Division of Workers’ Compensation has posted downloadable mileage-expense forms at http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/forms.html to show applicable rates based on travel date. A new form with the 2014 rate should be posted shortly. In the meantime, claims organizations may wish to alert their programmers that the rate will decrease to 56.0 cents per mile for travel on or after January 1, 2014.