Disabled veterans get mileage reimbursement increase

More than a million eligible veterans will see their mileage reimbursement more than double beginning in February, for travel to Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities.

The increase helps veterans, especially those living in rural areas, offset some of the gasoline costs for traveling to VA health care facilities, said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.

“Increasing the mileage reimbursement is one more step by VA to help veterans access the health care they deserve,” said Secretary Peake.

The 2008 appropriations act provided funding for VA to increase the beneficiary travel mileage reimbursement rate from 11¢ per mile to 28.5¢ per mile. The increase became effective Feb. 1.

After little more then a month on the job, Secretary Peake used his authority to establish the first increase in the mileage reimbursement in 30 years, fulfilling a pledge he made during his Senate confirmation hearing in December.

While increasing the payment, VA, as mandated by law, also equally increased the deductible amounts applied to certain mileage reimbursements. The new deductibles are $7.77 for a one-way trip, and $15.54 for a round trip, with a maximum of $46.62 per calendar month; however, these deductibles can be waived if they cause a financial hardship to the veteran.