Travel and accommodation expenses

Policy

The TAC can reimburse the reasonable travel expenses of a client who is required to attend:

  • a medical service
  • an approved rehabilitation service
  • an approved program of disability service
  • an approved vocational rehabilitation service

within Australia as a result of his/her transport accident injury.

The TAC can also reimburse a client's reasonable:

Transport Accident Act 1986 references: s.3 'ambulance service', s.3 'transportation costs' and s.60

Definitions

In this policy:

  • Travel expenses refers to car, taxi/ride share service, bus, tram, train and air travel costs
  • Taxi refers to a vehicle which is licensed as a taxi by the Victorian Taxi Services Commission or an Interstate taxi regulation authority
  • Ride share service refers to a commercial passenger vehicle driven by an accredited driver. These are usually booked through services such as Uber or GoCatch
  • Accommodation expenses refers to overnight hotel/motel bed or similar costs. Meals are not included as part of this cost
  • Dependent child is someone who is under the age of 16 years, or has attained the age of 16 years but is under 25 and is a full-time student. In determining if a child is a full-time student the TAC will use the advice given about the student's classification or status from the relevant educational institution. The child must also be wholly, mainly or in part dependent on the injured person for economic support at the date of the transport accident, but does not include a child who has a spouse or domestic partner.

Guidelines

CAR, TAXI/RIDE SHARE SERVICE, BUS, TRAM, TRAIN & DOMESTIC AIR TRAVEL (INJURED CLIENT)

Is travel by car payable?

The TAC can reimburse the reasonable cost of the kilometers travelled by car to utilise a medical service, approved rehabilitation service, an approved program of disability service, an approved vocational rehabilitation service or to travel to/from school for an eligible student when a client submits a completed and signed travel declaration. Refer to 'How is travel claimed' below and the TAC rate paid for Private Vehicle Travel Reimbursement.

Can the TAC pay for the cost of motor vehicle hire?

The TAC cannot pay for the actual cost of hiring a motor vehicle including the cost of a deposit, petrol, hire charge, insurance, etc. However, the TAC can reimburse the reasonable cost of the kilometres travelled by car (including hire cars) to attend transport accident related services and treatment (as listed above). Refer to 'How is travel claimed' below.

Is bus, train or tram travel payable?

The TAC can reimburse the reasonable cost of bus, train or tram travel to utilise a medical service, approved rehabilitation service, an approved program of disability service, an approved vocational rehabilitation service or to travel to/from school for an eligible student when a client submits a completed and signed travel declaration accompanied by a bus, train, tram ticket, or Myki statement (where possible). Refer to 'How is travel claimed' below.

When is travel by taxi or a ride share service allowable and are there any special requirements before it is undertaken?

The TAC can pay the reasonable cost of travel by taxi or a ride share service for a client who requires this type of service because of the transport accident injury where the client has obtained prior approval from the TAC. For those clients who do not have a 'severe injury' a request from a medical practitioner must be submitted explaining how the injury is preventing travel by other types of transport, e.g. train, and which covers the dates the travel by taxi or ride share is required.

For clients with a 'severe injury', travel will be discussed and approved as part of the Independence planning process. The TAC may contact the client or the health professional for further information if required. Transport Accident Act 1986 reference: s.3 'severe injury'

Payment and reimbursement for taxi  services within Victoria will be made in accordance with Victorian Taxi Directorate rates for travel within Victoria.  Interstate travel will be paid based on the rate prescribed by the relevant Interstate taxi regulation authority.

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 and after 23 August 2017, when the Commercial  Passenger Vehicle Industry Act 2017 took effect.

Can a client use their Multi-Purpose taxi Program (MPTP) concession card for TAC related travel?

A Multi-Purpose Taxi Program concession card (M31) issued by the Taxi Service Commission of Victoria may entitle a holder to a discount on the cost of a taxi fare. However, the terms and conditions of these concession cards state that the card cannot be used for travel that the TAC is liable to pay. A client who undertakes travel that he/she intends to claim for reimbursement from the TAC should not use the concession card and should pay the full cost of a fare and seek reimbursement from the TAC.

Taxi drivers cannot claim the 'Lifting fee' that is normally payable under the MPTP for journeys that will be funded by the TAC, they are entitled to turn the meter on while loading/unloading a TAC client instead.

When is domestic air travel allowable and are there any special requirements before it is undertaken?

The TAC can pay the reasonable cost of domestic air travel which is required by a client due to transport accident injury where the client has obtained prior approval from the TAC for air travel.

The client or the health professional must provide information to the TAC stating:

  • why this type of transport is required and the dates and details of the travel
  • why the client cannot reasonably travel by any other means to the nearest medical centre where the medical service is available due to the injury and this is supported by medical evidence. For example, a client sustains numerous leg and back fractures and is required to drive an unreasonable distance (e.g. 8 hours) to see the specialist.

Domestic air travel can also be paid when a client is required to travel to another State or Territory to attend TAC arranged medical exams.

Note, all prepaid, non urgent air travel must be arranged and booked by the TAC in line with the current State Government formal agreement. The TAC considers the reasonable cost for domestic air travel to be one regular economy full-return airfare for an injured client.

See also the Ambulance policy.

What if a client is assessed as needing support beyond that provided by airlines, boat or rail systems?

This additional travel cost will only be covered when a client is assessed as needing support to travel to and from a destination beyond the support normally provided by airlines, boat or rail systems. 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. Information on the level of support that boat or rail services can provide can be obtained directly from the carrier.

All services require prior approval in writing. The TAC has a separate policy regarding Attendant Care Services, including support for a client to access medical, rehabilitation or disability services.

Are there any limits on the amount of travel a client can claim?

The TAC will review from time to time a client's entitlement to travel expenses to ensure what is being claimed is strictly for transport accident reasons and that the costs being claimed are reasonable under the circumstances.

The TAC expects a client to seek treatment from a provider within his/her local area. In circumstances where a client requires treatment from a provider whose treatment modality or speciality is not available locally, the TAC can fund reasonable expenses for a client to travel outside his/her local area.

If the required treatment is available locally and a client chooses to seek treatment from a provider outside of his/her local area, the TAC will only pay the reasonable equivalent travel expenses that the client would incur from attending treatment locally.

Can the TAC pay for car parking and road toll expenses associated with the travel?

Where a client incurs car parking expenses at a car park or parking meter, the TAC can reimburse the reasonable cost provided the hours claimed reflect the time taken for the appointment, and a receipt is submitted where one is readily available.

Where a client incurs fees associated with travel on a tolled road, the TAC can reimburse the reasonable cost, provided a copy of the Day Pass or monthly statement is submitted whichever is applicable. The TAC cannot reimburse any costs associated with the purchase of e-TAGs.

How is travel claimed?

To claim travel expenses - car, taxi, public transport (bus, train & tram) or aeroplane, car parking and CityLink, a Travel Expenses Declaration form DOCX, 0.79MB should be completed, detailing and attaching:

  • the date travelled and the address from which travel commenced
  • the name and address of the provider and destination reached
  • if by private vehicle, the number of kilometres travelled each way
  • if by public transport, any available Myki statements, train, tram or bus tickets (wherever possible)
  • if by taxi or a ride share service, the receipts, supported by written request/s from a medical practitioner that covers the dates of the travel and why the client is unable to use public transport, or drive because of the injury
  • if by aeroplane, a copy of the airline ticket/s, supported by written request/s from a medical practitioner that covers the dates of the air travel and why the client is unable to use public transport, or drive because of the injury.

Can the TAC pay for travel where no extra cost was incurred?

The TAC cannot pay for the cost of travel where no extra cost was incurred.

Example: A client purchases a monthly train ticket for travel to and from work. The client also attends transport accident-related physiotherapy treatment using the same train ticket. Because the client paid for the train ticket regardless of his/her injuries, no extra cost has been incurred in attending the physiotherapy treatment. The TAC will not pay for any of the cost of the monthly train ticket.

Can the TAC pay travel expenses for clients travelling to work?

Return to Work Program

The TAC can pay the reasonable costs of travel to and from work for a client who is:

  • participating in a TAC funded return to work program, and
  • unable to travel to work by his/her usual pre-accident transportation becuase of transport accident injuries, e.g. prior to the transport accident the client travelling to work by motor cycle but since the accident the client's injuries require that he/she travels to work by taxi/ride share service.

Refer to the Return to Work Programs policy.

Non Return to Work Program

Clients who require assistance to travel to work as a result of their transport accident injuries and are not participating in a return to work program, may be eligible for a capped benefit, payable for up to 12 or 24 weeks after first returning to work, depending on the date of accident.

Refer to the Travel to Work Benefit policy.

Can the TAC pay travel and accommodation expenses for an injured client's family?

The TAC has separate policies on Visiting Expenses for the Parent(s) of an Injured Dependent Child Admitted to Hospital and Visiting Expenses for Family Members of an Injured Client Admitted to Hospital.

Can the TAC pay for meal expenses?

The TAC cannot pay for meal expenses except for when a client incurs these expenses as a result of attending a TAC arranged examination. Refer to the Expenses When Attending Medical/Impairment Examinations policy.

Can the TAC pay for accommodation for homeless clients?

The TAC can pay for the reasonable cost of accommodation for a homeless client for the duration of a rehabilitation hospital outpatient rehabilitation program.

The TAC expects that the client and the hospital social worker will:

  • explore all available public emergency/crisis accommodation before asking the TAC to fund accommodation, and
  • source long-term public housing options whilst the client is participating in the outpatient rehabilitation plan.

In relation to travel and accommodation what will the TAC not fund?

The TAC will not fund:

  • accommodation upon hospital discharge for non-homeless clients who do not require home modifications
  • travel where the client prefers taxi or air travel as this is convenient rather than because of the transport accident injury or because the client's car was written-off in the accident
  • the cost of travel where no extra cost was incurred. Refer to 'Can the TAC pay for travel where no extra cost was incurred?' in this policy
  • travel when this is required for reasons other than the transport accident injuries, e.g. the client losing his/her driver's licence, drink-driving or speeding
  • unreasonable travel, e.g. a client regularly travels long distances to receive treatment when equivalent treatment is readily available in his/her local area
  • travel that is not for obtaining a medical service, rehabilitation service, or an approved program of disability service due to transport accident injuries, or to/from school for an eligible student
  • any hotel/motel incidental items such as mini-bar items, laundry, television/video hire, telephone calls and alcoholic beverages
  • any costs associated with hiring a vehicle, such as deposit, petrol, hire charge, excess travel charge, insurance, etc.
  • the issue, renewal, or replacement of Multi Purpose Taxi (MPT) membership cards
  • travel by taxi or ride share service which is driven by a person who does not hold the appropriate accreditation
  • travel by ride share services before they were legalised on 23 August 2017
  • ride share service rate when travelling in a family member's vehicle.  This travel will be reimbursed at the private vehicle rate (currently 30c/km)
  • any fines associated with private vehicle travel, fuel costs, travel insurance, or motor vehicle hire
  • the cost of telephone calls and telephone calls between providers and clients, and between other providers, including hospitals
  • services provided outside the Commonwealth of Australia
  • services provided more than 2 years prior to the request for funding except where the request for payment is made within 3 years of the transport accident. Refer to the Time Limit to Apply for the Payment of Medical and Like Expenses policy.

Further information related to this policy:

Expenses When Attending Medical/Impairment Examinations policy
Repatriation of Injured Overseas Visitors policy
Return to Work Programs policy
Travel Allowance Agreements for Clients with a Severe Injury policy
Travel to Pre-Vocational or Vocational Training Programs policy
Travel to School or Higher Education Expenses policy
Travel to Work Benefits policy
Visiting Expenses for the Parent(s) of an Injured Dependent Child Admitted to Hospital policy
Visiting Expenses for Family Members of an Injured Client Admitted to Hospital policy
Travel and Accommodation Expenses for Immediate Family Members to Attend the Funeral, Burial or Cremation of a TAC Client policy.


Private Vehicle Travel Reimbursement (for clients)

TAC Maximum
For travel from 1 July 2008 onwards*
*last reviewed 1 July 2017
30 cents per kilometre

Calculation of the Private Vehicle Travel Reimbursement Rate (for Clients)

The reimbursement rate is based on methodology recommended by the motoring organisation the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV).  This methodology calculates the "average" running costs and vehicle depreciation associated with travelling extra distances for defined purposes associated with a TAC claim.

The running costs are made up of the following factors:

  • Tyres
  • Service/repairs
  • Fuel

The estimation of fuel costs is based on the average cost per litre of unleaded petrol for Melbourne during the three month period immediately prior to the RACV report as published by the AAA website.

Conclusion

The TAC will review and update this rate annually based on the recommendations received from the RACV.

These fees should be read in conjunction with the policy on travel benefits.


View Travel expense declaration form

Travel expense declaration form

Summary:

This form is to be used when claiming reimbursement for travel (i.e. private vehicle, public transport and/or taxi) expenses to attend: medical treatment for accident injuries; medical examinations arranged by the TAC; approved rehabilitation or disability services; or work, if you are participating in a formal Return to Work program.

There are two ways to get reimbursed:

  • Online
    The quickest and easiest way to get reimbursed is online. Simply log in to myTAC and send us a copy of your receipt. We will then transfer your reimbursement to your bank account.
    If you haven’t already, register for myTAC here or download the app to your mobile device
  • Post
    Please fill in the form below, attach your original receipts and post to Transport Accident Commission, Reply Paid 2751, Melbourne, Vic 3001

Are your bank details up to date?
Keep your bank account details up to date to receive your payment or reimbursement from the TAC as soon as possible. You can update your details by completing the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Authority form for TAC clients or by calling us on 1300 654 329.

View Travel to work declaration form

Travel to work declaration form

Summary:

This form is for claiming expenses related to travel (by private car, public transport and/or taxi) to work. (Claims for travel expenses to attend medical treatment and/or rehabilitation need to be made using a separate form titled Travel Expenses: Declaration).

There are two ways to get reimbursed:

  • Online
    The quickest and easiest way to get reimbursed is online. Simply log in to myTAC and send us a copy of your receipt. We will then transfer your reimbursement to your bank account.
    If you haven’t already, register for myTAC here or download the app to your mobile device
  • Post
    Please fill in the form below, attach your original receipts and post to Transport Accident Commission, Reply Paid 2751, Melbourne, Vic 3001

Are your bank details up to date?
Keep your bank account details up to date to receive your payment or reimbursement from the TAC as soon as possible. You can update your details by completing the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Authority form for TAC clients or by calling us on 1300 654 329.