Application and Usage
As stewards of university resources, appropriate review and consideration should be taken by approvers before granting approvals for travel related expenses. Reimbursement of dependent travel and dependent care may be requested when an employee is on travel status or a prospective employee for a faculty or high-level administrative position is visiting campus for final interviews. Approvals should only be granted when a traveler demonstrates a clear need, where the lack of reimbursement would limit their professional or academic development and advancement, and where no alternatives exist that would avoid such expenses. All requests for reimbursement must be approved by the appropriate authorities in accordance with these guidelines prior to commencement of travel.
All reimbursement requests require a completed Dependent Travel and Dependent Care Reimbursement Pre-Approval request form. Travelers must describe their circumstances and need. The form requires approval from the traveler's department approver as well as a designated senior level administrator. Per the Travel policy, approval for reimbursement must be issued prior to the expenses being incurred. The completed request form and supporting documentation must be attached to the traveler's expense report in the Reimbursement System.
Dependent Travel and Dependent Care Expenses
Within the limitations listed below and with approval prior to travel, reimbursable expenses may include actual travel for dependents and dependent care providers who accompany the traveler or actual expenses for out of the ordinary "at home" dependent care required outside of normal working hours while the traveler is traveling on bona fide university business.
- All expenses related to dependent travel or "at-home" dependent care must be pre-approved. Approval is at the discretion of the college/department and should not be presumed but is required.
- Requests must first be approved by an individual who is responsible for approving the budget and funding source for the traveler's expenses, and
- Requests must have a second approval by the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor/Provost, Dean, Divisional Finance Leader or Athletic Director most closely aligned with the funding source for the traveler's expense.
- Requests for reimbursement of dependent travel or travel related dependent care expenses must include a bona fide need for care during the trip and meet the following criteria:
- The trip lasts longer than 12 hours; and
- No alternative caregiver is reasonably available to support the dependent during the primary traveler's absence; and
- The dependent is:
- A minor or adult who resides with the primary traveler, requires assistance with daily activities, and for whom the traveler is the primary caregiver; or
- A disabled minor or adult for whom the traveler is the primary caregiver.
- The following dependent travel and dependent care expenses may be permitted for reimbursement, if they are above and beyond or incremental to the traveler's usual expenses for dependent care:
- When the dependent is traveling:
- Transportation expenses for one round-trip economy airfare per traveler between the traveler's current residence and the business trip destination or the interview location on campus.
- Lodging expenses for sufficient duration to complete the business trip or interview and campus visit activities. Whenever feasible, lodging should be shared between primary traveler, dependent, and, if applicable, accompanying dependent caregiver. If not feasible, primary traveler must provide a justification for the need for additional lodging accommodations. For prospective employees, local lodging should be paid directly by the university, utilizing the campus direct billing relationship with preferred local hotels whenever possible.
- Actual costs for meals, not to exceed the standard Travel policy per person daily limit.
- Ground transportation and allowable miscellaneous expenses, according to standard policy limits.
- Reasonable "at destination" babysitting or adult care expenses during business trip or interviews. Babysitting or adult care expenses may not be paid to a legal guardian of the dependent.
- When the dependent is staying home while the employee is traveling:
- Reasonable "at home" babysitting or adult care expenses incurred outside of normal working hours. Babysitting or adult care expenses may not be paid to a legal guardian of the dependent.
- Reasonable storing or shipping expenses for breast milk.
- When the dependent is traveling:
- Travel expenses for accompanying caregivers or babysitting / adult care expenses may be requested by the traveler under the following circumstances:
- The caregiver is not the traveler's spouse or partner
- The caregiver is not a legal guardian of the dependent
- The traveler is normally the single caretaker of a dependent or has a spouse or partner who is unavailable for dependent care throughout the duration of the trip due to their work obligations or other extenuating circumstances.
- The traveler must pay the dependent travel, caregiver travel, and "at home" child care expenses directly and seek reimbursement. Appropriate expense documentation and proof of payment is required. Under no circumstances will the university issue payment directly to dependent child care providers and/or caregivers.
- As with all travel expenses, each department or college is responsible for funding any reimbursements related to dependent care expenses – no central funding is provided. Expenses may be charged to allowable funds containing no restrictions on the use of funding for these purposes. Contract and Grant funds are permissible for dependent care expenses only to the extent they are allowable by the specific granting agency policies.
- All dependent travel and dependent care related expenses are considered by the IRS and the State of California as taxable income to the traveler.
- Reimbursements paid to prospective employees will be reported on IRS Form 1099-MISC.
- Colleges/departments may not provide funding for imputed tax withholding.
- No expenses related to personal or pleasure portions of a trip are permitted for reimbursement. Further, if the inclusion of dependents and, if applicable, accompanying caregivers on a business trip is necessary to facilitate personal or pleasure time away from home, such expenses are not permitted for reimbursement.
- Expenses incurred without having received approval prior to the commencement of a trip will not be reimbursed.
- Travel cash advances will not be issued for dependent travel, caregiver travel or dependent care expenses.
Exceptions to these guidelines require approval from:
- Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor, for academic personnel
- Vice Chancellor of Finance, for administrative personnel