If you travel on a per diem you will receive a certain amount per day to cover food expenses, which means you will not need to obtain or submit receipts for actual amounts spent. Per diems can be obtained in advance of travel.
If opting to use per diems, all of the trip’s meals must be reimbursed via per diems rather than a combination of receipts and per diems. You cannot combine both methods of being reimbursed for food expenses.
Please note that the per diem only applies when overnight travel is involved.
Per Diem Rates
Per diem rates are set as follows:
Calculating Per Diems
The first and last days of your trip are paid at 75% of your destination’s per diem rate.
For example, if you are traveling March 5-18, you will have 12 days at the full per diem rate (March 6-17) and 2 days at 75% of the per diem rate (March 5 and 18).
How to Claim a Per Diem
You may claim the total per diem rate for your trip in advance of travel or upon your return. In both cases you must provide:
- Evidence that the trip is real – this may be a receipt/reservation for air or rail travel and a hotel reservation.
- Evidence of how the amount was calculated – include a copy of the appropriate source for your rate (e.g., the State Department for international travel) and show the math (see Calculating Per Diems above).
Funds may be provided in advance of travel for airfare, train tickets, and hotel bookings provided you have paid these costs in full. You must submit receipts, itineraries and any other relevant documentation to support your request for an advance.
Upon return from your trip you must provide evidence that the journey actually took place by submitting ALL boarding passes and, where applicable, an itemized hotel bill.