Frequently Asked Questions

Travel

  1. Where do I find the mileage reimbursement rate?
  2. Is my daily commute eligible for mileage reimbursement during a holiday or weekend?
  3. How do I find out the eligible lodging rate for an area?
  4. How do I get a lodging waiver?
  5. What is the procedure for making large travel purchases, such as airline or hotel?
  6. What is my Headquarters?
  7. What is considered a Temporary Duty Station?
  8. What is the reimbursement for an Extended Work Day?
  9. Am I entitled to Per Diem if my travel is same day?
  10. Are Board Members eligible for Per Diem in overnight status?
  11. Where do I send my expense vouchers?
  12. When do I submit expense vouchers after traveling?
  13. When should I expect my expense reimbursement?
  14. What is the cutoff time to be reimbursed for an expense?
  15. How do I request an advance?
  16. When do I submit expenses to clear an advance?
  17. When should I expect my advance?
  18. How do I set myself up as a vendor on the Advantage system in order to receive travel reimbursements?
  19. What if my itinerary changes while I'm traveling?

1. Where do I find the mileage reimbursement rate?

The Mileage rate is set by the collective bargaining process. One can find the rate either by reviewing the bargaining agreement or visiting the Mileage & Other Travel page of this website.

2. Is my daily commute eligible for mileage reimbursement during a holiday or weekend?

Working during hours or days that the employee is not normally scheduled to work does not entitle the employee to reimbursement for transportation mileage expenses incurred between their official residence and their official headquarters.

3. How do I find out the eligible lodging rate for an area?

Lodging rates can be found either by visiting the Per Diem page of this website where the link to the GSA can be located or going to the GSA site directly.

4. How do I get a lodging waiver?

Lodging Waivers can be obtained through the following:

  • In excess of 110% of the maximum allowed must have prior approval in writing.
    Please contact your Department or Agency Finance Office in order to receive the proper waiver(s).
  • Up to 110% of the maximum allowed does not require prior approval.
  • If lodging is at the site of the conference/seminar, there is an automatic waiver.

5. What is the procedure for making large travel purchases, such as airline or hotel?

To make a large travel purchase such as airline, hotel or conference fees, the traveler must contact their Travel Coordinator. The TC will have access to the US Bank Travel Card to make the arrangements.

6. What is my Headquarters?

Your Headquarters, also known as your Official Site, is the location an employee is primarily working more than 3 days a week.

7. What is considered a Temporary Duty Station?

A Temporary Duty Station is a location outside of the official worksite assigned by the Department or Agency head to conduct official duties on a temporary basis.

8. What is the reimbursement for an extended work day?

A traveler may be reimbursed for meal expenses only after the traveler is in travel status for two hours beyond the traveler's regularly scheduled working hours for any one day. The two hours may consist of hours occurring before, after or a combination of both for the traveler's regularly scheduled working hours for the day.

Example based on an employee who begins their workday at 8:00am and ends their workday at 5:00pm:

  • If the employee starts workday at 6:00am and ends workday at 5:00pm, they are entitled to Breakfast.
  • If the employee starts workday at 8:00am and ends workday at 7:00pm, they are entitled to Dinner.
  • If the employee starts workday at 7:00am and ends workday at 6:00pm, they may combine the hours to get EITHER Breakfast or Dinner, but not both.
  • If the employee starts workday at 6:00am and ends workday at 7:00pm, they are entitled to BOTH Breakfast and Dinner.

Allowed Breakfast ($5.00) or Dinner ($14.00) depending on time of Extended Day. Anything over $8.00 requires a receipt.
This requirement is not applicable to the reimbursement provisions of Subsection 10.40.70 of SAAM (meals when not in travel status). Please keep in mind that an employee may not stop for a meal just to meet the two hour rule.

9. Am I entitled to Per Diem if my travel is same day?

If an employee travels out of state for a day meeting and then returns to home/office the same day, before midnight, the employee is only entitled to the Extended Day rule (Breakfast and/or Dinner meals).

10. Are Board Members eligible for Per Diem in overnight status?

Reimbursement for travel and other expenses is dependent upon the type of board, commission, or committee. Reimbursement for each member type is governed by statute 5 MRSA Chapter 379, Section 12002.

11. Where do I send my expense vouchers?

Please contact your Department or Agency Finance Office. If you are part of a Service Center, you would send your forms to that entity. The State Controller's Office no longer approves travel vouchers.

12. When do I submit expense vouchers after traveling?

A traveler must submit a substantiated Travel Expense Voucher within 30 days after the incurred expense(s) greater than $25.00. For expenses less than $25.00, the filing period is within 60 days.
Please note: Neither the 30 nor 60 days may cross a fiscal year. If the travel took place during the year end process, the request must be held until the new fiscal year.

13. When should I expect my expense reimbursement?

Payments are processed on the Monday following a minimum of 10 business days after the receipt of a properly completed Travel Expense Voucher.

14. What is the cutoff time to be reimbursed for an expense?

The request must be submitted to the agency and the traveler received reimbursement prior to the end of a fiscal year.

  • If the travel end date occurred more than 60 days prior to the end of the fiscal year and the original expense voucher was not submitted by the traveler, the reimbursement request will not be honored.
  • The exception being that the travel took place during year end, in which case the expense would be honored in the new fiscal year.

15. How do I request an advance?

The traveler is to submit an Out of State Travel Advance request form to their supervisor. The supervisor is to review and approve the proposed travel and forward on to the Agency head or designee. Upon approval of the advance, the agency finance office is to process the document for payment.

The request must be approved and given to the finance office in a timely manner in order to ensure the advance payment can be processed prior to traveling.

16. When should I expect my advance?

Once the travel advance has been approved by all parties, the advance will be processed no earlier than 10 days from the time of travel.

17. When do I submit expenses to clear an advance?

  • A traveler must submit a fully itemized Travel Expense Voucher on or before the 15th day following the date in which the traveler has returned. The traveler must fully justify the expenditure(s) of any portion of the advance for legally reimbursable items on behalf of the State.
  • The traveler shall return any portion of the travel advance not expended to the agency at the close of the authorized travel period. The traveler is to submit the payment with a properly completed Travel Expense Voucher and may make the payment by check, or similar instrument, payable to the agency.
  • If the travel advance is less than or equal to the travel expenses incurred, the traveler is to submit a properly completed Travel Expense Voucher on or before the 10th day following the authorized travel period ended. The expense voucher is to contain an itemization of expenditures and is to indicate the net amount, if any, due the traveler. The agency is to process the expense voucher and reimburse the traveler for any additional amount due.

18. How do I set myself up as a vendor on the Advantage system in order to receive travel reimbursements?

In order to receive payment, the traveler/employee must be set up on the Advantage accounting system. To do this, go to the Forms section of this website to print off the Vendor Activation Form. After completing the form, forward on to your finance office for entry. Please allow time for processing. If you believe you are already on the system, but do not know your Vendor Code, please contact either your finance office or OSC.

19. What if my itinerary changes while I'm traveling?

The traveler must contact the agency as soon as possible to discuss arrangements. Per SAAM, 10.50.70, changes must be authorized and with receipts in order to receive reimbursement. Whenever possible, the traveler is to pay the added cost using a State credit card. If the traveler does not have access to State credit card, the traveler may pay for the added cost from their personal financial resources. All receipts are to be attached to the Travel Expense Voucher.

 

For further questions regarding travel, please contact us.