Oakland, CA – 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 62.5¢ per mile to 65.5¢ per mile for travel on or after January 1, 2023, regardless of the date of injury. The old rate of 62.5¢ per mile, which took effect last summer, still applies for travel from July 1 through December 31, 2022.
California Labor Code §4600(e)(2), in conjunction with Government Code §19820 and DPA regulations, requires claims administrators to reimburse injured workers for medical mileage at the rate adopted by the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA) 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. When gasoline prices spiked earlier this year, the IRS announced that in recognition of the higher gasoline prices, it was making a special adjustment for the final six months of 2022.
Although gasoline prices have since receded from their record highs, apparently, they either did not do so prior to the calculation of the latest increase, or the recent reductions failed to offset the huge increases recorded earlier in the year. Therefore, for miles driven on or after January 1, 2023, the standard mileage rate will increase to 65.5¢ per business mile driven. The IRS announcement is in the agency’s online newsroom.
CWCI has alerted the DWC of the increase, which plans to post a Newsline regarding the new mileage rate for travel on or after January 1, 2023 on its website. In the meantime, given the lack of lead time, California workers’ comp claims organizations will need to immediately alert their claims staff and programmers of the pending change.
The DWC has downloadable mileage-expense forms that show the applicable rates based on the travel date posted under “Medical Forms” on the Forms page of its website. A new form reflecting the increase that takes effect January 1, 2023 is expected to be posted soon.