Travel Expense Reimbursement for VA Visits
According the Census Bureau, there are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014. Unfortunately, most of those veterans do not live within a few city blocks of a VA center. So when faced with getting to a center for care, they wonder if there’s a way to have that cost covered. Travel costs can be reimbursed. Here’s the lowdown…
Eligible veterans may be provided mileage reimbursement or, when medically indicated, special mode transport (e.g. wheelchair van, ambulance) when traveling for approved VA medical care.
Mileage reimbursement is 41.5 cents per mile and is subject to a deductible of $3 for each one-way trip and $6 for a round trip; with a maximum deductible of $18 or the amount after six one-way trips (whichever occurs first) per calendar month.
The deductible may be waived when travel is in relation to a VA compensation or pension examination; travel is by special mode; or when imposition would cause a severe financial hardship.
The following are eligible for VA travel reimbursement:
- Veterans rated 30 percent or more service-connected.
- Veterans traveling for treatment of service-connected conditions.
- Veterans who receive a VA pension.
- Veterans traveling for scheduled compensation or pension examinations.
- Veterans whose income does not exceed the maximum annual VA pension rate.
- Veterans in certain emergency situations.
- A veteran whose medical condition requires a special mode of transportation and travel is pre-authorized. (Advanced authorization is not required in an emergency and a delay would be hazardous to life or health).
- Certain non-Veterans when related to care of a Veteran (Caregivers, attendants & donors).
Beneficiary travel fraud can take money out of the pockets of deserving Veterans. Inappropriate uses of beneficiary travel benefits include: incorrect addresses provided resulting in increased mileage; driving/riding together and making separate claims; and taking no cost transportation, such as DAV, and making claims. Veterans making false statements for beneficiary travel reimbursement may be prosecuted under applicable laws.