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Meals

Reimbursement Methods: Receipts and Per Diem

There are two basic methods to calculate meal reimbursement by actual receipt and per diem.

Both methods are limited by the time away from an employee’s duty station. Official travel for which subsistence expenses are payable begins at the time the employee departs (typically from their home or official work-site) and ends when the employee returns to their  his/her home, official work-site or other official State location at the conclusion of his/her trip (defined specific below for each method).

Meals provided as part of a conference, must be treated as consumed and additional reimbursement may not be claimed.

Meal allowances are not authorized within the limits of any employee’s official worksite except as provided by collective bargaining agreements.

Receipt Method

The receipt method requires that employees submit original itemized receipts for actual meal expenses. The amount of reimbursement is limited by the employee’s applicable per diem as described below. Receipts for the day may be aggregated and the amount eligible for reimbursement is the sum of all receipts limited by the maximum per diem for the day. Meal receipts, demonstrating proof of payment, must be attached to the Travel Reimbursement Form and submitted with other expense receipts.

Per Diem Method

The per diem method is based on a daily rate limited by travel time. Receipts are not required under this method. There are two different methods of calculating the per diem rate here at UConn Health. For ease of reference here they are called the “negotiated” rate and the “federal” rate.

The negotiated rate is the one that UConn Health employees have set by the collective bargaining agreement.

List of the Negotiated Per Diems by Union (Excluding UHP)

Bargaining Unit Breakfast Lunch Dinner Total Per Day Gratuity Meal Tax Miscellaneous
NP-2 CEUI
Maintenance
$5.00 $7.00 $16.00 $28.00 15% Cost $4.00/Day
NP-3 AFSCME
Administrative/Clerical
$5.00 $7.00 $16.00 $28.00 15% Cost $0.00/Day
NP-5 PSEC
Protective Service
$5.00 $7.00 $16.00 $28.00 15% Cost $5.00/Day
NP-6 1199
Para Professionals Health Care
$7.00 $9.00 $19.00 $35.00 15% Cost $0.00/Day
P-1 1199
Professional Health Care
$8.00 $10.00 $20.00 $38.00 15% Cost $0.00/Day
P-3B CSEA
Education Professions
$8.00 $10.00 $20.00 $38.00 15% Cost $0.00/Day
P-4 CSEA
Engineering, Scientific and Technical
$8.00 $10.00 $20.00 $38.00 15% Cost $0.00/Day
NP-2 CEUI
Maintenance
$5.00 $7.00 $16.00 $28.00 15% Cost $4.00/Day

A reminder, employees in the above units may claim reimbursement for meals in either of two ways: by receipt or per diem. Regardless of the method used, the same method must be used for the entire travel period. An employee may not use the “per diem” method one day and the “actual expenses” method for the remainder of the trip.

 

For those employees who are in bargaining units which do not have contractual per diems, the UConn Health Board of Trustees has established a per diem rate. Some employees may be able to use the federal rate.

The federal rate is established by the federal government and splits into three areas: the contiguous 48 states, Alaska and Hawaii, and foreign nations.

Receipts are not required under this method.

Gratuities for maid service, baggage handling, etc. are included in the incidental expenses portion of the per diem and therefore cannot be claimed under this method.

Employees in these units may also choose to use the receipt method. Travelers may be required by their respective departments or business units to use a particular method. Regardless of the method used the same method must be used for the entire travel period the employee may not use the “per diem” method one day and the “actual expenses” method for the remainder of the trip. Employees may submit original itemized receipts for actual meal expenses. Reimbursement will be paid up to a daily maximum UConn Health rate inclusive of all taxes and tips. Meals may be aggregated up to a daily maximum for the sum of all receipts for the day. Original meal receipts with proof of payment must be attached to the Travel Reimbursement Request to the General Accounting Office.

Whether the employee is using the “negotiated” or “federal” rate they must follow the table below to determine if a meal is reimbursable.

The full daily rate is applicable for a day of travel from 6:59 a.m. to 7:01 p.m. For the purpose of determining actual travel days, meals taken for out-of-state travel will be allowed according to the time schedule below. Partial days of travel must be prorated.  The travel day is divided as follows:

Meal Departure Before Arrive Later
Breakfast 7 a.m. 9 a.m.
Lunch 11 a.m. 2 p.m.
Dinner 5 p.m. 7 p.m.

Departure and return time must be indicated on the request for travel reimbursement.