Part 302-16-Allowance for Miscellaneous Expenses

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5738; 20 U.S.C. 905(a); E.O. 11609, as amended, 3 CFR, 1971-1975 Comp., p. 586.

Subpart A-General

Note to subpart A:Use of pronouns "I", "you", and their variants throughout this subpart refers to the employee, unless otherwise noted.

§302-16.1 What is the purpose of the miscellaneous expenses allowance (MEA)?

The miscellaneous expenses allowance (MEA) is intended to help defray some of the costs incurred due to relocating. (See part 302-10 of this chapter for specific costs normally associated with relocation of a mobile home dwelling that are covered under transportation expenses.)

§302-16.2 What are miscellaneous expenses?

Miscellaneous expenses are:

  1. Costs associated with relocating that are not covered by other relocation benefits detailed in Chapter 302.

  2. Expenses allowable under this section include but are not limited to the following, and similar, items:

General Expenses Fees/Deposits Losses
Appliances Fees for disconnecting/connecting utilities, appliances, equipment, or conversion of appliances for operation on available utilities.
Rugs, draperies, and curtains Fees for cutting and fitting such items when they are moved from one residence quarters to another.
Utilities (For mobile homes, see §302-10.204 ) Deposits or fees not offset by eventual refunds.
Medical, dental, and food locker contracts Losses that cannot be recovered by transfer or refund and are incurred due to early termination of a contract.
Private Institutional care contracts (such as that provided for handicapped or invalid dependents only) Losses that cannot be recovered by transfer or refund and are incurred due to early termination of a contract.
Privately-owned vehicles Registration, driver's license, and use taxes imposed when bringing into certain jurisdictions.
Transportations of pets The only costs included are those normally associated with the transportation and handling of dogs, cats, and other house pets, as well as costs due to stringent air carrier rules. Other animals (horses, fish, birds, reptiles, various rodents, etc.) are excluded because of their size, exotic nature, restrictions on shipping, host country restrictions, and special handling difficulties. Inoculations, examinations, and boarding quarantine costs are excluded.
§302-16.3 Who is and is not eligible for a MEA?

See the following table for eligibility of MEA:

Employees Eligible for MEA Employees Not Eligible for MEA

(a) Your agency authorized/ approved a relocation or a TCS; and

(b) You discontinued and established a residence in connection with your relocation or TCS; and

(c) You meet the applicable eligibility conditions in part 302-1 of this chapter; and

(d) You signed the requirement in part 302-1 of this chapter.

(a) A new appointee,

(b) Authorized SES "last move home" benefits,

(c) Assigned under the Government Employees Training Act (5 U.S.C. 4109), or

(d) Returning from an overseas assignment for separation from Government service.

§302-16.4 Must my agency authorize payment of a MEA?

Yes, if you meet the applicable eligibility conditions in §302-16.3, your agency must authorize payment of a MEA.

Subpart B-Employee's Allowance for Miscellaneous Expenses

§302-16.100 How will I receive the MEA?

You will be reimbursed your MEA in accordance with your agency's internal travel policy.

§302-16.101 May I receive an advance of funds for MEA?

No, your agency must not authorize an advance of funds for MEA.

§302-16.102 What amount may my agency reimburse me for miscellaneous expenses?

The following amounts will be paid for miscellaneous expenses without support or documentation of expenses:

  1. Either $650 or the equivalent of one week's basic gross pay, whichever is the lesser amount, if you have no immediate family relocating with you; or

  2. $1,300 or the equivalent of two weeks' basic gross pay, whichever is the lesser amount, if you have immediate family members relocating with you.

§302-16.103 May I claim an amount in excess of that prescribed §302-16.102?

Yes, you may claim an amount in excess of that prescribed in §302-16.102 if authorized by your agency; and

  1. Supported by acceptable statements of fact, paid bills or other acceptable evidence justifying the amounts claimed; and

  2. The aggregate amount does not exceed your basic gross pay (at the time you reported for duty, at your new official station) for:

    1. One week if you are relocating without an immediate family; or

    2. Two weeks if you are relocating with an immediate family.

Note to §302-16.103: The amount authorized cannot exceed the maximum rate of grade GS-13 provided in 5 U.S.C. 5332 at the time you reported for duty at your new official station.

§302-16.104 Must I document my miscellaneous expenses to receive reimbursement?

You must show documentation of your miscellaneous expenses only when an amount exceeds that prescribed in §302-16.102.

§302-16.105 What standard of care must I use in incurring miscellaneous expenses?

You must exercise the same care in incurring expenses that a prudent person would exercise if relocating at personal expense.

Subpart C-Agency Responsibilities

Note to subpart C:Use of pronouns "we", "you", and their variants throughout this subpart refers to the agency.

§302-16.200 What governing policies must we establish for MEA?

For MEAs, you must establish policies and procedures governing:

  1. Who will determine whether payment for an amount in excess of the flat MEA is appropriate; and

  2. How you will pay a MEA in accordance with §§302-16.3 and 302-16.4.

§302-16.201 How should we administer the authorization and payment of miscellaneous expenses?

You should limit payment of miscellaneous expenses to only those expenses that are necessary.

§302-16.202 Are there any restrictions to the types of costs we may cover?

Yes, a MEA cannot be used to reimburse:

  1. Costs or expenses incurred which exceed maximums provided by statute or in this subtitle;

  2. Costs or expenses incurred but which are disallowed elsewhere in this subtitle;

  3. Costs reimbursed under other provisions of law or regulations;

  4. Costs or expenses incurred for reasons of personal taste or preference and not required because of the move;

  5. Losses covered by insurance;

  6. Fines or other penalties imposed upon the employee or members of his/her immediate family;

  7. Judgements, court costs, and similar expenses growing out of civil actions; or

  8. Any other expenses brought about by circumstances, factors, or actions in which the move to a new duty station was not the proximate cause.

§302-16.203 What are examples of types of costs not covered by the MEA?

Examples of costs which are not reimbursable from this allowance are:

  1. Losses in selling or buying real and personal property and cost related to such transactions;

  2. Cost of additional insurance on household goods while in transit to the new official station or cost of loss or damage to such property;

  3. Additional costs of moving household goods caused by exceeding the maximum weight limitation;

  4. Costs of newly acquired items, such as the purchase or installation cost of new rugs or draperies;

  5. Higher income, real estate, sales, or other taxes as the result of establishing residence in the new locality;

  6. Fines imposed for traffic infractions while en route to the new official station locality;

  7. Accident insurance premiums or liability costs incurred in connection with travel to the new official station locality, or any other liability imposed upon the employee for uninsured damages caused by accidents for which he/she or a member of his/her immediate family is held responsible;

  8. Losses as the result of sale or disposal of items of personal property not considered convenient or practicable to move;

  9. Damage or loss of clothing, luggage, or other personal effects while traveling to the new official station locality;

  10. Subsistence, transportation, or mileage expenses in excess of the amounts reimbursed as per diem or other allowances under this regulation;

  11. Medical expenses due to illness or injuries while en route to the new official station or while living in temporary quarters at Government expense under the provisions of this chapter; or

  12. Costs incurred in connections with structural alterations (remodeling or modernizing of living quarters, garages or other buildings to accommodate privately-owned automobiles, appliances or equipment; or the cost of replacing or repairing worn-out or defective appliances, or equipment shipped to the new location).

Last Reviewed: 2020-01-10