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Business and Financial Affairs

Meal Reimbursement

3-50-240 Meal Reimbursement

The following two criteria must be met to receive a meal allowance:

  1. Three Hour Rule - A traveler may be reimbursed for meal expenses only after the traveler is in travel status for three hours beyond the traveler´s regularly scheduled working hours for any one day.
  2. In travel status during the entire meal period - Travelers must be in travel status during the entire university determined meal period(s) in order to qualify to collect meal payments for meals.

The normal work hours for CWU employees is considered to be 8 AM to 5 PM. The employee´s designated work hours should be noted on the Travel Expense Voucher form if it is other than the normal work hours. The three-hour rule still applies and meals will be reimbursed only when an employee is in travel status during the entire meal period.

Reimbursement for meals for CWU employees at meetings or formal training sessions may be authorized without regard to the participant´s travel status or the three hour rule, subject to the programmatic and funding approval by the PBA and the conditions contained in the section on reimbursement for meals / refreshments at meetings.

The university designated meal periods and allowances for meals are as follows:

 Non High Cost MealsHigh Cost Meals
Breakfast (7 to 8am):$14.00$15.00$16.00$18.00 $19.00
Lunch (12 to 1pm):$16.00$18.00$20.00$21.00$23.00
Dinner (6 to 7pm):$25.00$28.00$30.00$32.00$34.00 
Totals:$55.00$61.00$66.00$71.00 $76.00

High cost locations for lodging allowance do not necessarily follow entitlement of high cost areas meal allowance. Information on high cost locations in the continental USA is contained in Schedule "B" at the following link:

Meals included in the registration fees paid by the university are to be deducted from the allowance claimed for reimbursement. Continental breakfast and meals provided by airlines are not to be deducted and full reimbursement is allowed.

Foreign Travel

Foreign meal per diems do not always fall within the meal rates listed above. When it becomes necessary to determine the amount to reimburse for individual meals, use the following calculations rounded to the nearest dollar.

  • The breakfast portion is 25% of the set daily meals entitlement.
  • The lunch portion is 30% of the set daily meals entitlement.
  • The dinner portion is 45% of the set daily meals entitlement.

Foreign per diems rates can be found at the following link: Foreign Per Diem Rates.

Revised 4/1/2019


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