Sections 201(j), 1631(h), and 1817(i) of the Social Security Act
Social Security Act;
Regulations-20CFR 404.900-404.999, 416.1416(b)(1), 416.1450(d)(4), and 416.1495-416.1499.
DI 39525.001 DDS Applicant Travel -- General
1. Applicant travel
Travel by applicants, beneficiaries, recipients, and other authorized individuals such as representatives and reasonably necessary unsubpoenaed witnesses.
2. Reasonably necessary unsubpoenaed witness
Witnesswhose presence and testimony the disability hearings officer determines necessary for a fair hearing.
3. Applicant travel costs
Costs associated with the above individuals' travel and subsistence expenses in connection with attending medical examinations or disability hearings.
4. Reimbursable travel costs
Travel costs which include ordinary expensesof travel by public or private transportation as well as unusualcosts made necessary by special circumstances.
5. Ordinary travel
Travel by common carrier (air, rail, or bus), privately owned vehicles, commercially rented vehicles, and other special conveyances.
6. Unusual travel
Includes, but is not limited to: ambulance services, attendant services, meals, lodging, and taxicabs.
7. Medical examinations
Consultative examinations (CE)and medical/vocational work evaluations (workshops).
8. Travel within the United States
Includes the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands.
B. Policy principle
1. Allowable charges
Applicant travel costsincurred by individuals in pursuit of claimsfor Social Security benefits may be paid by the State agency and are properly chargeable to SSA.
The cost of travel shall not exceed that of the most economical and expeditious meansof transportation appropriate to the individual's health condition.
Airtravel payment is limited to coachfare between the points involved, unless the use of first class accommodations is required for health reasons or lack of alternative accommodations. Use of first class accommodationsrequires advanceState agency authorization.
3. Travel to hearings
Reimbursement is limited to travel within the United States.
Travel will be paid to and from a hearing only if the distance from a person's home or office (whichever he or she travels from) to the hearing site exceeds 75 miles,each way.
NOTE:When travel exceeds 75 miles, the expenses for the first 75 miles of travel are also reimbursable. The 75-mile rule does not apply to travel to medical examinations.
Subpoenaed Witnessesmay be reimbursed for travel expenses regardless of the distance traveled to the hearing site. They will be paid the same fees and all allowances they would receive if they had been subpoenaed by a Federal district court.
If a change in the locationof the hearing is made at the claimant's request, from the location the State agency selected, to one farther from the claimant's residence or office, the additional travel expenses of the claimants, his representative or unsubpoenaed witnesses will not be reimbursed.