Reimbursement

Note: Original expense receipts are required to support a claim. All claims must be accompanied by a completed reimbursement form.

This policy covers reimbursement for the following categories:

  1. Travel to mandatory rotations at a distributed Site
  2. Travel for Educational or Academic Events
  3. Other expense reimbursements
  4. Reimbursement process

Travel to Mandatory Rotations at a Distributed Site

A distributed site is defined as a site distant from the resident’s home program which requires the resident to reside in that location (at the discretion of the Site Director).  Home site is defined as the residency site where the majority of the resident’s training takes place.

Travel

  1. Residents will be reimbursed for economy airfare or mileage to a maximum of $700 to and from (one round trip) a mandatory rotation at a distributed site within the province of British Columbia. One return trip mid-rotation to the home site or one spousal trip will be funded during the rural rotation to a maximum of $700 within BC only.
  2. Reimbursement for travel to a rotation at a distributed site:
    • a) Travel by vehicle – a mileage rate of 50¢ / km is reimbursed to a maximum of $700. All mileage claim must include a Google map ad gas receipts as backup.
      • The starting point for calculating mileage should always be from the resident’s home site, not from the resident’s home address.
    • b) Travel by air – round-trip economy airfare will be reimbursed up to $700.  Any travel expense exceeding the stated amount need to be pre-approved by the UBC Program Office prior to the start of the rotation.  Maximum approved travel claim is $1,000 for a round trip, applicable only to rural rotation travel but not mid rotation trip. **Flights paid by cash will not be reimbursed**
      • Because significant savings can be realized by making reservations in advance, residents should plan their travel at least 14 days prior to departure.  Last minute booking may result in travel costs higher than what the program will cover, in which case the balance will have to be absorbed by the resident. If there are potential issues or concerns, residents should discuss such matters prior to their travel.
    • Unless pre-approval is obtained, the lesser of the amounts in a) and b) will be reimbursed under normal circumstance.
  3. Core rotations must be done within the province unless previously approved.  All travel claims to or from locations outside of B.C. are not eligible for reimbursement.
Community Rotation or Daily Commute to a Distributed Site
  1. If the resident commute daily to their rotation instead of staying in the community, the program will reimburse the resident at a rate of $20 per day (when the driving distance is between 40 and 100 km one way) and $40 per day (when driving distance is over 100 km one way). Maximum reimbursement for daily commute is $700 per block.
  2. If a resident must leave their distributed site for approved departmental events, travel costs will be reimbursed as per this policy.

Accommodation

  1. If pre-arranged accommodation is available in a distributed site but no contract is in place, and the resident must pay the landlord directly, the resident will be reimbursed according to the negotiated monthly rates. In the event that residents choose to arrange their own accommodation in those sites, a reasonable accommodation rate will be reimbursed to a maximum of $1,300 per month. **Accommodations paid in cash will not be reimbursed.** VCH requires supporting documents such as bank statements or cleared cheques to accompany all non-commercial rent receipts (i.e., hand-written receipts or receipts that do not have a business registration number).
  2. It is the expectation that residents will stay in the accommodation arranged by the Program. When accommodation at a distributed site is pre-arranged by the program through a rental contract (e.g. Gibson, Sechelt), or when it is provided at a distributed site without cost to the Program, residents are required to stay in this housing. Requests for alternate housing must be pre-approved and will only be granted on the basis of written documentation of physical limitations or health reasons.*
  3. If a resident does not incur any accommodation costs while at a mandatory distributed site none will be reimbursed.
  4. Accommodation at some distributed sites may cost more than the maximum reimbursement of $1,300 (e.g. Tofino or Osoyoos in the summer). Residents are responsible for rental costs in excess of $1,300 per month and should take this into account when they make their site selection.
  5. No overnight stay is allowed to be claimed for a one-day event if residents can travel to the event on the same day (eg. Nanaimo to Victoria, Kelowna to Vancouver, Abbotsford to Vancouver).
  6. The program will reimburse for a reasonable “host gift” for free accommodation under the following guidelines:
    • the gift must not go to a family member
    • original receipts must be produced
    • the total amount must not be over $50 for an overnight stay or $150 for an extended period of stay
Reimbursement for mandatory rotations outside of British Columbia

Mandatory rotations outside of BC may qualify for reimbursement, if, in the judgment of the Program, the rotation is not available within the province, or if a special arrangement has been negotiated between the Program and the site.

Currently, only the following mandatory rotation outside of British Columbia qualifies for reimbursement:

Inuvik:

Travel and accommodation for mandatory rural rotations in Inuvik are covered by the host site. Inuvik provides round-trip airfare and accommodation. The mid-rotation trip is funded by the Family Practice Program as per travel policy within BC (i.e. maximum of $700 for mid rotation trip). Residents choosing to drive to Inuvik should consult the administrator in Inuvik regarding reimbursement prior to deciding to drive.

Addendum to Travel Policy – Definition of Spouse

For the purpose of the Department of Family Medicine Travel Policy regarding a mid-rotation spousal round trip to a distributed site, “spouse” can be defined as any significant other of the resident’s choosing.

Reimbursement for Rural Residents

Please refer to Rural Site Travel Policy for more details

Travel for Mandatory Educational or Academic Events

Residents may claim reasonable expenses up to $600 per trip (up to $700 for rural residents)  to a maximum of 13 trips per academic year. This amount INCLUDES the cost of airfare, ferry, mileage and accommodation.

Travel for Academic Half Days

Travel expenses for attending academic half days are reimbursable when residents are doing their first-year core rotations in a distributed site that is within a commutable distance (40-100 km one way) and when the option for video conferencing is not available. The resident will be reimbursed at a rate of $20 per round trip.

Attendance at academic half days is not mandatory for residents during their mandatory rural rotation or on out-of-town electives. If a resident chooses to travel to the home site to attend academic half days, the program will not cover the travel expense.

Travel for program-wide academic events

The Residency Program will cover travel expenses for residents to attend the following mandatory educational events:

  • ALARM course
  • Postgrad Resident Retreat (when it’s held)
  • R1 Academic Day
  • Residents Scholarship Day
  • Approved Program events (eg. CaRMS)

Group travel should be arranged whenever possible in attending the above events. Unless pre-approval is obtained, the most economical mode of transportation will be reimbursed.

Accommodation Subsidy for Mandatory Educational Event

In the event that a resident needs to stay overnight to attend a mandatory educational event, the resident can claim up to $130 during low season (Oct – Apr) and $160 during peak season (May – Sept) including tax per night for accommodation. Reimbursement above the stated amount will not be processed without prior approval from the Residency Office. All overnight stay claims must be supported by original receipts with GST #.

Residents can take advantage of the hotel and motel rates negotiated by the Provincial Government within the Province of British Columbia. These rates are intended for business travel only and so UBC or Hospital identification may be requested when checking into the property.

See: BC Provincial Government rate

Meals

Meals and food purchases are not eligible for reimbursement.

Other Expense Reimbursements

Mandatory courses (such as ACLS [to a max of $500] or ATLS for rural residents) will be reimbursed by the PGME office.  Other courses approved by Site Directors will be reimbursed through the UBC Family Practice Program Office.  Regardless of where the reimbursement is processed, residents must complete the standard reimbursement form and submit it with original receipt to the Family Practice Program Office.

Claims which fall outside of the above-mentioned categories are considered miscellaneous claims.  This may include non-mandatory course or conference attendance, research expense, etc.  Residents must enter the details of the expense in the “Miscellaneous” tab on the reimbursement form.

Reimbursement Procedure

To increase the timeliness of reimbursements, Vancouver Coastal Health Accounts Payable highly encourages the use of direct deposit. (This is separate from your payroll direct deposit). Please fill out this authorization form.

There are also times when UBC will reimburse residents for expenses. To set up direct deposit with UBC, please fill out this authorization form.

The Expense Reimbursement Form must be completed and submitted to the site office with your receipts and signature. Once approved by the Program Office, the form will be redirected to either Vancouver Coastal Paying Agency or by UBC Financial Services for processing. If you are missing a receipt, please fill out a Missing Receipt Form and include a bank statement as proof of payment.

Original expense receipts are required to support each claim. The passenger copy of a ticket or e-ticket is required in the case of air or ferry transportation. Vancouver Coastal Health and UBC Finance will not accept any travel agency invoices, photocopies or scans. Credit card statements and cancelled cheques can be used as additional proof of payment. The date and nature of the event must be clearly stated. The traveller’s signature must be included on the form.

It is important that you settle your travel claims soon after you travel. Reimbursements will not be processed if expense claims are submitted more than 3 months after the date of the event.