What WorkSafe will pay for

A worker can claim the reasonable cost of travel expenses incurred as a result of a work related injury or illness to:

  • Attend medical and hospital services
  • To attend an independent medical examination, independent impairment assessment, or Medical Panel review
  • General Practitioner (GP) Return to Work Case conference.

Requests for reimbursement must be submitted within six months of the date of travel.

Definitions

Travel expenses include travel by:

  • Private motor vehicle
  • Public transport (bus, train or tram)

The following can also be paid with prior approval:

  • Taxi
  • Ride share services driven by an accredited driver. These are usually booked through services such as Uber or GoCatch
  • Road ambulance
  • Air ambulance
  • Air travel

Prior approval

Where a worker seeks to claim travel reimbursement for a service requiring prior approval they must provide medical evidence from their treating health provider that they are unable to travel by private motor vehicle or public transport due to their work related injury or illness.

Meal and accommodation expenses

Reimbursement of the reasonable cost of meals and accommodation expenses to attend an independent medical examination, independent impairment assessment or Medical Panel review can be paid.

GP Return to Work case conference

Road ambulance, air ambulance and air travel are not payable to attend a GP Return to Work Case conference.

Reasonable costs

In determining the reasonable costs of travel, the following will be taken into consideration:

  • The purpose of travel
  • A worker’s ability to utilise modes of transport
  • The distance travelled by the most direct route
  • The availability of comparable service providers in close proximity to a worker’s residence
  • The length of time between date of travel and the request for payment. Workers are expected to seek treatment from a provider within their local area. If the required treatment is available locally and the worker chooses to seek treatment from a provider outside of their local area, only the reasonable equivalent travel expense that the worker would incur from attending treatment locally will be paid.

Private Motor Vehicle expenses

Workers can be reimbursed the reasonable costs of travel by private motor vehicle where the use of public transport is not practicable. Reimbursable expenses are the reasonable costs of:

  • Per kilometre travelled
  • Parking fees
  • Tolls Prior approval is not required for the reimbursement of private motor vehicle expenses.

Making a claim for motor vehicle expenses

A worker must provide all the following details when submitting expenses claim for the use of a private vehicle:

  • Address of departure and arrival
  • Date(s) and time(s) of travel
  • Total kilometres travelled
  • Parking or toll receipts or tickets (clearly showing dates and times). Parking costs of up to $15 can be reimbursed without a receipt or ticket upon provision to the agent of verification of attendance at the appointment.

What fees are payable for private motor vehicle expenses?

Reimbursement of $0.30 cents per kilometre for the distance of the most direct route between a worker’s residence and the service provider’s address can be paid. The per kilometre reimbursement rate is reviewed periodically based on information published by the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV), which calculates the average running costs per kilometre of a range of vehicle makes and models.

What cannot be claimed?

A worker will not be reimbursed the costs of:

  • Travel for non work-related injury or illness purposes
  • Motor vehicle hire expenses such as a deposit, petrol, hire charge and insurance
  • Traffic or parking fines.
  • Travel to or from a pharmacy

Public transport

A worker can claim the reasonable costs of travel using the following forms of public transport:

  • Bus
  • Train (metropolitan or regional)
  • Tram Prior approval is not required for the reimbursement of public transport expenses.

Making a claim for public transport expenses

A worker can claim up to the daily full fare for zones travelled A worker does not need to provide tickets when submitting a claim for expenses for travel by public transport but they need provide the following information:

  • Name of service provider/hospital attended
  • Address of departure and arrival
  • Date(s) and time(s) of travel
  • Cost(s) of ticket

What cannot be paid?

A worker cannot make a claim for public transport fines, weekly, monthly or annual tickets or travel to destinations not related to medical services required for their work related injury or illness.

Taxi 

A worker can be reimbursed the reasonable costs of travel by taxi if they are unable to drive a private motor vehicle or travel as a passenger in a private vehicle or unable to travel by public transport (train, tram or bus).

Prior approval must be obtained from the agent before travelling by taxi.

Making a claim for taxi travel expenses

A worker must provide the following details when submitting expenses for travelling by taxi:

  • Itemised receipts clearing showing cost, date, time of travel, evidence of driver accreditation with the Victorian Taxi Services Commission, Australian Business Number and destination (ie home address and service provider address)
  • Name of service provider/hospital attended.

What fees are paid for taxi travel

Taxi expenses are paid in accordance with the Victorian Taxi Directorate rates.

What cannot be paid?

  •  Any expenses related to additional use or cost of a taxi by a person other than the worker (ie where a taxi was shared for part of the journey by another person)
  • Commercial passenger transportation services provided by drivers who do not possess appropriate accreditation with the Victorian Taxi Services Commission
  • Taxi waiting time
  • Chauffeur driven limousines
  • Taxi fares above the Taxi Services Commission rates
  • Travel to destinations not related to medical services required as a result of the work-related injury or illness.

Ride share services

A ride share service is a commercial passenger vehicle driven by an accredited driver. These are usually booked through services such as Uber or GoCatch. The driver of the ride share service must have proper accreditation through the Taxi Services Commission.

A worker can be reimbursed the reasonable costs of travel by a ride share service where they are:

  • Unable to drive a private motor vehicle or travel as a passenger in a private vehicle
  • Unable to travel by public transport (train, tram or bus) Prior approval must be obtained from the agent before travelling by a ride share service.

Fees payable for a ride share service

A worker can claim the reasonable ride share fare for the distance to and from the medical provider or hospital. Payment and reimbursement for ride share services will be paid in line with the standard rates used by the service provider and is only payable for journeys on or after 23 August 2017 when the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 took effect.

A worker will not be reimbursed for a ride share service when travelling in a family member’s vehicle. This travel will reimbursed at the private vehicle rate of $0.30 cents per kilometre.

Road Ambulance

A worker can claim the reasonable costs of travel by road ambulance where they are:

  • Unable to drive a private motor vehicle or travel as a passenger in a private vehicle
  • Unable to travel by public transport (train, tram or bus)
  • Unable to travel by taxi or a ride share service *Prior approval must be obtained from the agent before travelling by road ambulance.

Fees payable for road ambulance expenses

The road ambulance service provider must provide a breakdown of all costs:

  • Flag fall type (for example, emergency/non-emergency) and charge
  • Time and duration of service, cost per minute and total charge for this element
  • Total kilometres travelled, cost per kilometre and total charge for this element
  • Any other charges

For Victorian public road ambulance services, where all the above conditions are met, payment is made in accordance with the fee schedule arrangement the ambulance service has with the Department of Health and Human Services.

For private road ambulance services, where all the above conditions are met, the reasonable costs of private ambulance travel can be paid.

Air Ambulance

A worker can claim the reasonable costs of travel by air ambulance where they are:

  • Unable to drive a private motor vehicle or travel as a passenger in a private vehicle
  • Unable to travel by public transport (train, tram or bus) • Unable to travel by taxi or a ride share service
  • Unable to travel by road ambulance
  •  

*Prior approval must be obtained from the agent before travelling by air ambulance and will only be given in exceptional circumstances. Fees payable for air ambulance expenses The air ambulance service provider must provide a breakdown of all costs and charges. For Victorian public air ambulance services, where all of the above conditions are met, air ambulance is paid in accordance with the fee schedule arrangement it has with the Department of Health and Human Services.

For private air ambulance services, where all the above conditions are met, the reasonable costs of private air ambulance travel can be paid.

Domestic air travel

A worker can claim the reasonable costs of domestic air travel where:

  • The use of private motor vehicle, public transport and taxi are not practicable or
  • A worker provides information to indicate that the cost of domestic air travel is less than the cost of other forms of transport.

If a worker is assessed as needing support beyond that provided by transport providers, additional travel costs can be covered with prior approval. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) website details the level of support that airline and airport ground staff must provide to passengers with a disability.

All prepaid, non-urgent domestic air travel must be arranged and booked by the agent in line with the current State Government formal agreement.

Fees payable for domestic air travel expenses

Invoices for domestic air travel from the air service provider must include:

  • Airport of departure and arrival
  • Dates(s) and time(s) of travel
  • Total invoice costs

The following is also required before payment can be made:

  • Name of service provider/hospital attended including dates and times
  • Copy of written prior approval

The cost of one regular economy airfare for a worker is payable.

Meals and accommodation

The reasonable costs of meals and accommodation can only be paid where a worker attends an Independent medical examination, independent impairment assessment or a Medical Panel review only.

Meals and accommodation costs for anyone other than the worker will not be reimbursed. The reasonable costs of a worker’s meal expenses is only paid where travel to the medical appointment is more than 100 kilometres away from a worker’s residence and results in a worker being away from home at meal time/s. The reasonable costs of accommodation can only be paid where information has been provided that shows that the worker could not attend the appointment and return home on the same day.

Meals and accommodation are reimbursed in accordance with the WorkSafe fee schedule for meals and accommodation.

* Workers should check with their agent as to whether they are eligible for meals and accommodation expenses and if so, what the fee limits are.

Claiming expenses for meals and accommodation

A worker seeking reimbursement for meals and accommodation expenses must provide receipts for the expenses.

Incidental expenses associated with accommodation such as mini-bar items, laundry, television/video hire, telephone calls and alcoholic beverages cannot be claimed. Alcoholic beverages cannot be claimed as part of the meal allowance.

Travel expenses to attend conciliation

A worker who attends a conciliation conference is entitled to seek reimbursement for:

  • The reasonable transport expenses to and from the conciliation conference up to a maximum of $61 (indexed annually) inclusive of parking and kilometres travelled
  • Loss of income incurred by the worker as a result of attending the conciliation conference up to a maximum of $417 per day (indexed annually)

Prepayment

Prepayment of travel expenses

Pre payment of a worker’s travel expenses can be made if requested and the distance to be travelled is greater than 100 kilometres.

Important information