DI 39525.005 Reimbursement for Applicant Travel -- DDS
A. Policy principle
1. Ordinary travel expenses
Reimbursement is limited to:
The cost of travel by the most economical and expeditious means of transportation available and appropriate to the individual's condition of health as determined by the State agency or SSA. Consider the available means in the following order:
Common carrier(air, rail, or bus),
Privately owned vehicles(reimbursement for mileage at State specified rate plus actual cost of parking and tolls), and
Commercially rented vehiclesand other special conveyances.
Air travelat the coach fare rate.
First classair travel under limited circumstances. First class airtravel can be authorized in advanceby the State agency in situationssuch as:
Space is not availablein less than first class accommodations on any scheduled flights in time to accomplish the purpose of the travel.
First class accommodations are necessary because the applicant, representative or reasonably necessary witness is so handicapped or otherwise impaired that other accommodations are not practical and the impairment is substantiated by competent medical authority.
Less than first class accommodations on foreign carriers do not provide adequate sanitation or health standards.
The use of first class accommodations would result in an overall savings to the government,based on economic considerations, such as the avoidance of additional subsistence costs that would be incurred while awaiting availability of less than first class acommodations.
2. Unusual travel expenses
Unusual travel costs may be reimbursed but must be authorized in advance and in writing by the appropriate State official(at a supervisory level), as applicable, unless they are unexpected or unavoidable.
The State agency must determine the reasonableness and necessity of unusual travel and must approveit before paymentcan be made.
3. Payment of travel
Usually applicants will be reimbursedfor expenses after the trip. Payment will be made only upon submission by the applicant of a statement of costs.
Travel advances may be authorized if the applicant requests prepayment and shows that the requested advance is reasonable and necessary.
c. Prepaid travel
The DDS must request a report of actual costs after the travelis performed.
d. Reimbursement of travel advances
If the applicant receives prepayment, he or she must, within 20 days after the trip,provide to the State agency an itemized list of what was spentand supporting receipts.
The State agency will require the applicant to pay back any balance of the advanced amount that exceeds any approved travel expenses within 20 daysafter the applicant is notified of the amount of that balance.
NOTE:State agencies may have their own time limits in place of the 20 day periods cited in this section.
e. Reimbursement to representative
If a representative requests separate payment of travel expenses by the State, the representative will be reimbursed directly.
B. Operating policy
Time Period for Submitting Claim
The State will follow usual State accounting procedures or establish a reasonable length of timeafter the travel within which a claim may be accepted for payment.
C. Operating procedure
1. Advance notice and payment
Notify each applicant who is requested to report for a medical examination, in advance,by letter, telephone or in person that payment can be made for travel.
The applicant must show that the requested advance is reasonable and necessary.
Include the following languages or equivalentin the notice that advance payment can be made for travel costs:
“If you wish, we will pay travel expenses you incur in connection with reporting for the medical examination. Payment of such costs will not be made, however, unless you request it. If you need advance payment for travel expenses you expect to incur, let us know immediately. You must show that the requested advance payment is reasonable and necessary.”
Notify every applicant who is requested to report for a CE and has difficulties in arrangingtheir travel or may need to incur unusual expensesin order to get to the examination source substantially as follows:
“If you have any problems in getting to the examination, or if you will incur any unusual expenses, contact us immediately so that suitable arrangements can be made in advance. If you have any other questions, let us know immediately.”
Use the following or its equivalent if, under State law, rules or regulations, an agency can pay an obligation:
on the basis of an informal statementwhich itemizes the actual travel costs:
“You should report for the examination on the appointed date. If you wish to be paid for your travel expenses and you travel by bus, train or privately-owned automobile, send us an itemized statementof your actual travel costspromptly after the trip has been made. You will be paid for travel only between and . If you wish to be paid in advance, please notify us immediately.
You should state howyou traveled (train, bus, automobile, etc.) and how muchyou spent. Payment for travel by personal automobile will be made at the rate of cents per mile, and you should state the number of milestraveled as well as the amount requested. If you traveled by public transportation, list separately each carrier and its cost.”
only on the basis of a formal document(invoice, voucher, etc.):
“You should report for the examination on the appointed date.If you wish to be paid for your travel expenses and your travel is by bus, train or privately owned automobile, complete the enclosed form with your actual travel costs. You will be paid for travel only between and . If you wish to be paid in advance, please notify us immediately.
You should state howyou traveled(train, bus, automobile, etc.) and how much you spent. Payment for travel by personally owned automobile will be paid at the rate of cents per mile, and you should state the number of milestraveled as well as the amount requested. If you traveled by public transportation, list separately each carrier and its cost. You should sign the formon the line indicated.”
only after advance authorizationhas been give on the basis of a formal document(invoice, voucher, etc.):
“You should report for the examination on the appointed date. If you wish to be paid for your travel expenses, let us know promptly (before your appointments) and we will inform you what forms you must submit to receive payment for your actual expenses. Payment for travel by personally owned automobile will be at the rate of cents per mile. If you wish to be paid in advance, please notify us immediately.”
NOTE:DI 39525.005 C.1. - C.3 addresses advance notice for CE situations. Please refer to DI 33010.005 C. for notices for disability hearings cases.