Rep. John T. Salazar announced that veterans will see their mileage reimbursement more than double starting tomorrow, for travel to Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facilities.
"Many veterans in Colorado have difficulty obtaining care, and sometimes put off necessary treatment simply because they can't afford the gas to drive to a VA clinic. This mileage reimbursement is a step forward in ensuring that our veterans can access the health care services they were promised," Rep. Salazar noted.
As part of the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill passed by the new Congress in December, funding was added for VA to increase the beneficiary travel mileage reimbursement rate from 11 cents per mile to 28.5 cents per mile, the first increase in 30 years. The increase goes into effect on Feb. 1.
While increasing the payment, VA 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.
As the only veteran in the Colorado Congressional delegation, Rep. Salazar authored legislation to increase mileage reimbursement to Veterans as part of the Rural Veterans Healthcare Improvement Act of 2007.