DI 39525.001 DDS Applicant Travel -- General

A. Definitions

1. Applicant travel

Travel by applicants, beneficiaries, recipients, and other authorized individuals such as representatives and reasonably necessary un-subpoenaed witnesses.

2. Reasonably necessary un-subpoenaed witness

Witness whose 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 expenses of travel by public or private transportation as well as unusual costs 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 Principles

1. Allowable charges

Applicant travel costs incurred by individuals in pursuit of claims for Social Security benefits may be paid by the State agency and are properly chargeable to SSA.

2. Limitations

  1. a. 

    The cost of travel shall not exceed that of the most economical and expeditious means of transportation appropriate to the individual's health condition.

  2. b. 

    Air travel payment is limited to coach fare 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 advance State agency authorization.

3. Travel to hearings

  1. a. 

    Reimbursement is limited to travel within the United States.

  2. b. 

    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.

  3. c. 

    Subpoenaed Witnesses may 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.

  4. d. 

    If a change in the location of 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 un-subpoenaed witnesses will not be reimbursed.

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DI 39525.001 - DDS Applicant Travel -- General - 08/28/1996
Batch run: 05/09/2023