Health-related Travel (HRT) and Rehabilitation-related Expense (RRE)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What type of HRT expenses can I claim?

A1. You may claim the following travel expenses to attend appointments:

  • Transportation (examples: kilometres/mileage, taxi, bus, parking, toll, and ferry)
  • Meals
  • Lodging (must be pre-approved by VAC)
  • Escort fee and escort travel expenses, when the need for an escort is medically necessary and has been pre-approved by VAC)

If you are a participant of VAC’s Rehabilitation Program and accessing a rehabilitation service approved by VAC, you may also claim:

  • Additional dependent care expenses which must be pre-approved by VAC.

Q2. I travel to get health-related items, but it is not to attend an appointment with a health care professional or to attend treatment, can I claim these expenses?

A2. No, travel expenses you incur to fill prescriptions or purchase/pick-up other health related items (batteries, supplies, cannabis for medical purposes etc.) are not eligible for reimbursement.

Q3. What can I claim as transportation expenses?

A3. Transportation expenses are defined as transportation within Canada, by the most economical means between home and the nearest appropriate treatment centre. Your health condition is also a consideration in determining the mode of transportation.

If you travel by private motor vehicle, you can claim the round-trip kilometres travelled from your home (the Veteran’s home) to the appointment. Reimbursement is based on a rate of two (2) cents more than the kilometric rate set out in the National Joint Council – Kilometric Rates.

If you travel by public transportation (taxi, bus, train, plane, or other mode of transportation) where you pay a fare, you can claim these costs. Some travel costs need to be pre-approved by VAC.

If you have other related transportation costs such as parking or tolls, you can claim these costs.

Q4. What should I do if I don’t know how far away my appointment is?

A4. We recommend using an online distance calculator to calculate the kilometers from your home address to the health professional’s office.

Q5. Sometimes when I submit a claim, it is not fully reimbursed, why is that?

A5. Transportation is reimbursed based on the your health condition as well as the most convenient and economical means to travel from your home to the nearest appropriate treatment centre. There are maximum amounts that will be reimbursed. You can request pre-approval prior to making travel arrangements using one of the following options:

  • Call VAC at 1-866-522-2122 (toll-free) Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time;
  • Send us a secure message through My VAC Account; or
  • Visit an area office.

Q6. When can I claim a meal allowance?

A6. A meal allowance may be claimed when you purchased a meal due to being away from home because you attended an appointment.

Meal allowances can only be claimed for the time period required to travel to and from your appointment and the time period you wait and attend your medical or rehabilitation-related appointment. If your travel time is extended for reasons not related to your appointment, you are NOT eligible to claim meals. VAC will pay the corresponding meal allowance listed below, if you are required to be away from home for the entire two hour period listed below, based on the time you leave and return home.

  • Breakfast 6:30-8:30 a.m.
  • Lunch 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Dinner 5:00-7:00 p.m.

If you are travelling with an escort approved by VAC, your escort’s meal(s) will be reimbursed based on your own meal(s) claimed.

Q7. I stopped to eat after my appointment, can I claim a meal allowance?

A7. If the time it took you to travel to your appointment, attend your appointment, and return home would have covered the entire two-hour meal period noted above, then VAC will pay you a meal allowance. If you would have had time to go to your appointment and return home within the meal period, but took longer for personal reasons, or if stopping for the meal itself extended the time, a meal allowance would not be paid.

Q8. My appointment was for medical test and I needed to fast, can I claim a meal allowance.

A8. Yes, if you need to eat outside the usual meal times for medical reasons such as fasting in preparation for your appointment, you can include a meal on your claim, along with an explanation.

Q9. My travel time was extended because of road work/weather conditions/etc., can I claim a meal allowance?

A9. Yes, if your travel time was extended for reasons beyond your control, such as poor weather or road construction, you can include a meal on your claim, along with an explanation.

Q10. I had to stay overnight at a hotel as a result of my appointment, can I claim this?

A10. Yes, you can claim your lodging expense if it was pre-approved by VAC. If you travelled with an approved escort, the cost of their lodging can also be claimed and should be included under “Lodging”. Note: there are maximum amounts that will be reimbursed.

The Government of Canada does not recommend the use of private offerings, such as Airbnb.

Q11. How do I receive VAC pre-approval for my expenses?

A11. You can request pre-approval prior to making travel arrangements using one of the following options:

  • Call VAC at 1-866-522-2122 (toll-free) Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time;
  • Send us a secure message through My VAC Account; or
  • Visit an area office.

Your request for pre-approval should be for specific dates, and you should be prepared to provide the name of the provider.

Q12. I didn’t get pre-approval for an overnight stay but I had to pay for accommodations for reasons out of my control. Can I claim my additional expenses?

A12. Yes, in unforeseen circumstances, costs such as hotel and meals may be claimed even if pre-approval was not received. These costs may be reimbursed when an explanation is provided with your claim.

Q13. I paid for additional dependant care expenses, can I claim this?

A13. If you are an active participant in VAC’s Rehabilitation Program, yes, you may claim additional dependant care expenses that you otherwise would not have incurred. This can include care provided by friends, relatives or a professional caretaker.

As per the Veterans Health Care Regulations, dependant care expenses are not an eligible expense when medical travel is related to “A” or “B” coverage.

Q14. What is an acceptable appointment verification?

A14. Any written confirmation that you attended the appointment, from the office of your health care professional is accepted for the purposes of verifying your appointment. Examples include:

  • Health care professional completes and signs or stamps your claim form (VAC752), Section “B”.
  • Obtain an appointment card which is signed or stamped by your health care professional and includes the date and time of your appointment, and the health care professional’s address.
  • A signed letter from your health care professional’s office confirming the appointment date, time, and address.

Q15. Do I need to submit my appointment verification and supporting documents with my claim?

A15. No, you are not required to submit this information unless VAC asks you for the documents and receipts. However, you are required to keep these documents for 12 months from the date that you submit the claim. VAC may request the documents any time during this period for review purposes.

Q16. I don’t want to have to keep all these papers, can I submit them to VAC instead?

A16. Yes, instead of keeping the supporting documents, appointment verification and receipts, you can submit them with each claim and they will be kept with the claim for review purposes. You will not be contacted for review purposes if you submit valid supporting documents, appointment verification, and receipts with each claim.

Q17. I am submitting my claim form via My VAC Account. How do I include my supporting documents and appointment verification?

A17. You can upload your supporting documents, appointment verification, and receipts via the “upload” feature within the claim form in My VAC Account.

Q18. When should I submit my claim?

A18. You must submit your claim for reimbursement:

  • Within 12 months of the date of service for travel for rehabilitation services.
  • Within 18 months of the date of the appointment for treatment benefits and services.

Note: you need to keep your supporting documentation, appointment verification, and receipts for a period of 12 months from the date you submitted the claim, not 12 months after your appointment.

Q19. Does my escort need to complete or sign anything?

A19. Yes, if you are claiming a reimbursement for an escort fee or meal(s) for your escort, you must have your escort complete and sign the Health-related Travel Receipt – Escort form (VAC 752D). You can submit it with your claim or you must keep it for 12 months.

Q20. Who is eligible to be remunerated as an escort?

A20. If your health care provider has indicated that you require an escort to attend your appointment(s) and VAC has pre-approved an escort based on this, VAC will pay for the remuneration of your escort, only if:

  • You have paid your escort a fee, and
  • Your escort is not your spouse, common-law partner, dependant, or any member of your household, including a live-in caregiver.

Q21. How much can I claim as an escort fee?

A21. The remuneration that VAC will pay for an escort is based on pension rates and is adjusted every year. The maximum rates for 2019 are $119.03 for a full day, and $59.52 for a half-day (four hours or less). The payment will be issued with your travel reimbursement as VAC does not issue payment to the escort. If you paid your escort less than the maximum rates, you should claim the amount paid.

Q22. What are the maximum amounts or rates of reimbursement?

A22. Private motor vehicle transportation is reimbursed based on a rate of two (2) cents more than the kilometric rate set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive’s Appendix B.

Meals are reimbursed based on the allowance amount set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive’s Appendix C.

Lodging for private accommodations is reimbursed based on the allowance amount set out in the National Joint Council Travel Directive’s Appendix C.

Lodging for commercial accommodations is reimbursed based on the rates in the Government of Canada Accommodation and Car Rental Directory preface - under Accommodations 4. a. – Canadian city rate limits (scroll past the maps for the rate chart).

Escort fee

The remuneration that VAC will pay for an escort is based on pension rates and is adjusted every year. The maximum rates for 2019 are:

  • $119.03 for a full day
  • $59.52 for a half-day (four hours or less)

http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/about-us/policy/document/1272

Q23 Where can I find more information about health-related travel and rehabilitation-related expenses?

A23. More information is available on VAC’s website at the following links:

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