Moving Expense Reimbursement
The guidelines under which new employees are reimbursed for moving expenses are complex, and unless fully met could delay reimbursement to the employee. Most of the delays regarding reimbursement of moving expenses occur because items were not presented properly or items not covered were submitted for reimbursement. Although this section highlights the University moving expense policies, the Accounting Office should be contacted before any commitments are made to a potential new employee to verify that the proposed arrangements are allowable.
Generally moving expenses are reimbursable to a State employee upon initial appointment to a technical, scientific, educational, professional, or administrative position if there is a shortage of qualified candidates locally. The University president and respective vice president must certify that this condition exists for moving expense reimbursements to be allowable.
The State will reimburse for the cost of moving household goods and personal effects from the employee's residence at the time of appointment to a residence located near the new place of employment.
This is intended to cover the following:
- The cost of loading, transporting, and unloading household goods and personal effects, including such items as pianos, refrigerators and deep-freezers. Household goods do not include automobiles, other motor vehicles or trailers other than house trailers used as the employee's residence. Moving costs associated with farm tractors, farm implements and equipment, live-stock, boats, belongings that are not the property of the employee's immediate family, belongings related to commercial enterprises, and building materials are not reimbursable. Also, no reimbursement will be made for household goods and personal effects in excess of 12,000 pounds.
- The cost of packing or unpacking household goods and personal effects, if such services are provided to the employee by the carrier.
- The cost of storage of goods in transit. Allowed costs include actual storage and required warehouse handling. Reimbursement will not be provided for storage or handling of goods in excess of 12,000 pounds.
- Reimbursement of transportation costs for the employee and his/her family to move to the new location will be made at the rate currently paid by the State for the use of personally owned automobiles on official State business, regardless of the travel means used by the new employee. Mileage is measured by the shortest highway route between the two places of residence. Payment will be made at the mileage rate for one automobile, regardless of the number of vehicles used or actual method of transportation used.
The original bill of lading or freight bill specifying the gross weight of the effects moved, indicating that the items were moved in an acceptable manner and that payment was made, must be submitted for reimbursement. Other forms of documentation are unacceptable to the Office of State Comptroller and will not be acceptable for reimbursement.
If the employee does not use a commercial carrier, reimbursement will be made only for the cost of renting trailers and trucks from commercial establishments for moving the effects listed above. If a trailer or truck is not rented from a commercial establishment, the employee may be eligible to receive up to $200 to cover moving expenses, provided the claim is accompanied by documentation showing that such expenses were actually incurred.
Regardless of the costs being reimbursed, the claim for reimbursement must be submitted within one year of the appointment.
State regulations provide for waivers to the moving expense policies under certain circumstances. However, such waivers require State Division of the Budget approval and have historically taken a substantial amount of time to be processed. When a waiver is needed, an explanation should be submitted to the Accounting Office for transferral to the Division of the Budget and coordination with the SUNY's Personnel Office.
Required Forms and Related Documents:
The forms required to process a moving expense reimbursement are listed below. All forms must be filled out completely before processing can be initiated. The forms can be obtained from the Accounting Office, MSC 203.
Following is an explanation of critical data provided by each form:
- A copy of the 'appointment letter' signed by the University President must accompany all paperwork.
- PURCHASE REQUISITION: Identifies the State or IFR Account Number, amount to be reimbursed, and the name, address, and social security number of the new employee. The requisition must be authorized by an account signatory.
- STANDARD VOUCHER (AC-92): Includes much of the same information as the purchase requisition, but is the document required by the State Comptroller for payment.
- STATEMENT OF AUTOMOBILE TRAVEL (AC-160): Indicates the number of miles to be reimbursed at the standard mileage rate. (ATTACHMENTII-10)
- REQUEST FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MOVING EXPENSE AGREEMENT (AC-1099) Compiles information for State Comptroller records and must be signed by both the employee and the appointing officer. This form accompanies the standard voucher to the State Comptroller.