It’s official: VA boosts mileage reimbursement rate… again

After Tester’s request, VA increases rate to 41.5 cents per mile

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – After weeks of pressure from Senator Jon Tester, the Veterans' Administration has agreed to start reimbursing disabled veterans who travel for their health care at a rate of 41.5 cents per mile.

The new rate goes into effect today, November 17.

Tester, a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, has championed a higher mileage reimbursement rate for nearly two years.  His legislation last year increased the rate from 11 cents to 28.5 cents per mile—the first change in 30 years.  Several weeks ago, the Senate passed legislation to increase the rate again—this time to 41.5 cents per mile.

Last month, Tester, along with Senator Max Baucus and several of their Democratic and Republican colleagues, wrote VA Secretary James Peake to implement the legislation, raising the rate from 28.5 to 41.5 cents per mile, "at the earliest possible date."

Peake, who visited Montana earlier this year at Tester's invitation, followed through.

"I appreciate Secretary Peake's commitment to America's veterans," Tester said.  "He understands the challenges facing veterans—especially those who live in rural and frontier America.  Increasing the mileage reimbursement rate is the right thing to do for millions of men and women who served in our military."

Tester noted that he championed the issue after hearing from Montana veterans during his frequent listening sessions across the state.

The VA's mileage reimbursement program is open to veterans who are rated at 30 percent or more disability, and those with extremely low incomes.

The VA's decision to raise the rate can be found in the Federal Register online HERE.