Meal and Lodging Allowances

Employees have a choice of two different methods to be reimbursed for lodging and meals. Only breakfast and dinner are reimbursable meals, lunch is not.

Method 1 - Unreceipted
This allows for a flat per diem allowance for meals, lodging and incidentals regardless of where lodging was obtained, including a relative or friend. No receipts are required. To receive the full per diem the employee must be in overnight travel status and eligible for both breakfast and dinner. Reimbursement for meals, lodging and incidental expenses on a per diem basis as follows:

Per Diem
New York City and Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland
and Westchester Counties
Cities of Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse
and their respective surrounding Metropolitan areas
All other locations in New York State
Out of State (this includes any out-of-state tax on lodging)

Method 2 - Receipted
This allows for reimbursement of actual lodging costs up to a specific amount, plus an allowance for meals. The per diem amount is based on the area of assignment. Receipts are required for lodging. No receipts are required for meals. Employees must attach the original lodging receipt to their travel voucher. If lodging is provided by another agency or organization, this should be indicated on the voucher, and the traveler may claim the meal allowance for that area. Reimbursement rates are established by county, so employees must indicate county as well as city on their travel voucher. No taxes should be paid within New York State. For out-of-state travel, local and state taxes will be reimbursed in addition to the per diem amount.

Per diem rates are established by the federal government.  A full per diem is considered to be dinner the first day, lodging, and breakfast the following day.  Incidental expenses such as tips are included in the reimbursement amounts.

Per Diem Rates
Foreign Per Diem Rates
Meal Allowance Breakdown

Time Limits on Meal Allowances
The normal per diem allowance is for dinner the first day, lodging, and breakfast on the following day.

Employees will be allowed meal reimbursement when departure from the beginning of a trip occurs before the following hours.

Breakfast:  7 a.m.     Dinner:  7 p.m.

Employees will be allowed meal reimbursement at the conclusion of trip if return is after the following hours.

Breakfast:  7 a.m.     Dinner:  7 p.m.

Meals for Day Trips
Employees in travel status for day trips are allowed breakfast and dinner reimbursements based on the departure and arrival times of the trips. For non-overnight travel, an employee may claim the unreceipted meal allowance, or actual expenses up to the federal maximum meal allowance with a receipt. All meal reimbursements not associated with overnight travel are considered taxable by the IRS.

The unreceipted meal allowance is $5 for breakfast and $12 for dinner.

Weekend Allowance
Where provided for in their respective collective bargaining agreements, employees may receive an additional $20 or $30 allowance for each weekend they are in travel status and 300 miles or more from home.

Conferences, Seminars, Conventions, Training
All conferences, seminars or training programs sponsored by New York State should be within established per diem rates.

When attending a conference that is not sponsored by New York State, the lodging and meal amounts may exceed the normal per diem amounts. Conference information and justification must be included with travel voucher.

If meals are included in the conference fee, the meal allowance must be reduced on your voucher. Fees for social activities such as sightseeing tours or golf outings are considered personal expenses and will not be reimbursed.

Many conferences supply transportation between the conference site and the transportation terminal. Car rental must be justified and used for official business only.


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