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Office of Mental Health

New York State Consolidated Budget and Claiming Manual Subject: Appendix EE OMRDD Reimbursement Principals Section: 55
For the Periods:
January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009
July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010
Issued: September 9, 2009

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The following is a set of guidelines which the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (OMRDD) issued to all OMRDD funded service providers. The reimbursement principles became effective January 1, 1999 and set forth the decision principles by which OMRDD will determine allowed levels of reimbursement for the following categories of expense: meals, travel, professional fees and dues and subscriptions for personal purposes, entertainment, personal automobile use, agency provided vehicles, gifts, office furnishings, tuition, and housing. OMRDD will not reimburse provider expenses which exceed the guidelines contained in this document.

Costs Eligible for Reimbursement by OMRDD

The following principles shall be used by OMRDD to determine costs eligible for reimbursement:

  1. Any cost must be related to the provision of services to consumers, the enhancement of agency staff skill and training, the direct provision of services to consumers, or the operation of the agency.
  2. In order to be considered eligible for reimbursement, any cost is subject to the “prudent buyer” concept (i.e., the maximum spent should be what a typical buyer would reasonably expect to pay).


The cost of meals is eligible for reimbursement when staff and/or board members are in business related travel status, meeting with outside parties, or when engaged in board related business.

The cost of staff meals for those staff being honored at employee recognition events is eligible for reimbursement. In all cases, the expense of a meal includes the amount spent for food, non-alcoholic beverages, taxes and tip only.

Costs incurred by staff in the provision of direct service to consumers are considered program costs.

Travel Status

The cost of travel is eligible for reimbursement if the trip is related to the business of the agency.  Expenses include the travel cost to and from the destination where the agency's business will be transacted and any business related travel expenses (e.g., lodging, car rental, parking, tolls, taxi) while at the business destination. The least costly reasonable mode of transportation is eligible for reimbursement with reasonable consideration given to the requirements of the particular business circumstances at hand.

Professional Fees and Dues and Subscriptions for Personal Purposes

Such costs are generally not eligible for reimbursement. However, costs for licensure or certification required as a condition of employment by the agency are eligible for reimbursement.


Costs which related solely to the amusement and diversion of staff, administration, or board members which are of no business benefit to the agency are not eligible for reimbursement.

Costs incurred by the agency in the provision of annual holiday parties or picnics or employee recognition events are eligible reimbursement, subject to the prudent buyer concept.

Costs incurred by staff in the provision of direct consumer service are considered program costs.

Personal Automobile Related

Personal commuting costs, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes, are not eligible for reimbursement. Costs for business related use of a personal vehicle are eligible for reimbursement if the costs are ordinary and necessary. An ordinary cost is one that is common and accepted by the industry. A necessary cost is one that is required by the agency for the benefit of the agency or its consumers and not the individual staff or board member.

Agency Provided Vehicle

Costs associated with the acquisition or lease, operation, and maintenance of an agency owned vehicle used for agency related business, or costs associated with the personal use of an agency owned vehicle which are reported on the employee's IRS W-2 form as compensation, and determined by the board in written agency policy, are eligible for reimbursement.  Costs in excess of the luxury vehicle threshold, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service, are not eligible for reimbursement.


The cost of gifts is not eligible for reimbursement. Awards given for employee recognition purposes are not considered gifts.

Office Furnishings

The cost of office furnishings and decorations considered lavish or extravagant when compared to the prudent buyer concept, is not eligible for reimbursement. Fine art and collectibles are not reimbursable.


Cost for the training and educational enhancement of staff members are eligible for reimbursement where it can be demonstrated that such training and educational enhancement afforded the employee promotional opportunities within the agency and/or enhanced the quality of service delivery to consumers.


Costs associated with the provision of housing to agency personnel are eligible for reimbursement when the agency requires that such personnel reside on the grounds, or in close proximity to the facilities operated by the agency.

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Community Budget & Financial Management (CBFM) Group.