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Meal Reimbursements

A state employee may only be reimbursed for his or her actual meal expense not to exceed the maximum meal reimbursement rate for that location. The state travel expense reimbursement rate is not a per diem. The maximum should not be claimed unless the actual expenditures equal or exceed the maximum allowable rate.

Agencies must use the federal rates provided by the General Services Administration (GSA) for both in-state and out-of-state travel within the contiguous United States. State employees who travel to Alaska, Hawaii, a U.S. possession or a foreign country must be reimbursed according to the guidelines in the GAA. See travel reimbursement rates.

When traveling to non-listed locations, state employees are limited to the GSA’s Domestic Maximum Per Diem Rates.

Non-overnight meal reimbursements may not exceed $36 according to the General Appropriations Act, Article IX, Part 5, Section 5.06(b). See documentation requirements for non-overnight meal expenses.

Note: Both the lodging and meal reimbursement rates are listed on the GSA’s website. Lodging rates are listed in the “Daily lodging rates” table. Meal rates are listed in the “Meals & Incidentals (M&IE) rates and breakdown" table. Only the “M&IE Total” column applies to state employee meal reimbursements, and there is no limit to the amount of incidental expenses that may be reimbursed to a state employee. The GSA’s web tool provides the capability to find current rates in the continental United States by searching with city and state (or zip code), or by clicking on the relevant state on the map. Previous rates may be found by selecting the past year in the pull-down menu and clicking on the map. For more information, refer to the federal Domestic Maximum Per Diem Rates.