A. Meal and Incidental Expenses

[1] General

Generally, meal and incidental expenses are reimbursed at a per diem rate. Meal and incidental expenses may be reimbursed only if the traveler qualifies for lodging-expense reimbursement, except as noted herein.

[a] Proration of meals & incidental expenses per diem for partial days involving an overnight stay

Initial Day of Travel – Leave:

Prior to 7:00 AM

7:00 AM to

12:59 PM

1:00 PM and after

Meal Allowance

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Lunch, dinner






Final Day of Travel – Return:

Prior to 12:00 PM

12:00 PM to

5:59 PM

6:00 PM and after

Meal Allowance


Breakfast, lunch

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

For the day the traveler leaves on a trip, the per diem rate specified for where the traveler will spend the night is used. For the day the traveler returns from a trip, the per diem rate specified for the last location where the traveler stayed overnight is used.

Applicable meal and incidental expense per diem may not be claimed if a meal is provided at a hosted function (e.g., a conference registration fee includes a meal). The per diem rate for a full day's meal and incidental expenses is apportioned as follows:

  • breakfast: 25%
  • lunch: 25%
  • dinner: 50%.

[2] Actual Meal-Expense Reimbursement

Reimbursement for meals at actual expense is only allowed when hosting official guests and groups, for athletic team and student group meal expenses, and for OUS Board members and unpaid members of advisory committees. When actual meal expenses are reimbursed, an itemized receipt is required. A gratuity of up to 15% of each meal expense may also be claimed. The receipt must separate the meal cost and the gratuity paid. When the receipt shows only the total charge, the traveler should write in the meal and gratuity amounts. When a single reimbursement is requested for multiple employees, all employee's names should be identified on the receipt. No alcohol expenses are reimbursable with state funds.

[3] Meals on One-Day Trips

See the section One Day Trips for detailed information.