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Move Reimbursement FAQs

Moval Expenses Payment or reimbursement of moving expenses may be provided for appointees in certain academic positions (refer to APM 560-14 and APM 561-14 for specific title series and titles) and must be a part of the initial negotiations with the appointee. Payment of moving expenses is a privilege and not automatic. It does not constitute a perquisite of University employment.

Payment of these expenses is accorded to qualified persons in order to expand the geographic area for selection of permanent academic staff and considered taxable income (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 2018-2025). Move reimbursements are subject to pre-approval, availability of funding and IRS reguations:

IRS Requirements/Tests:

  1. Related to the Start of Work: The move must be made in connection with the commencement of work at a new job location and the moving expenses must be incurred within one year from the time the employee first reports to the new job.
  2. Time Test: During the 12-month period immediately following the move, the individual must be employed full-time for at least 39 weeks.
  3. Distance Test: The distance between the individual’s new job location and their former principal residence must be at least 50 miles more than the distance between the individual’s previous work location and their former principal residence.

For full policy information, see Recruitment/Removal Expenses (APM 560).

Are postdoctoral scholars eligible for a removal expense reimbursement?

Only by exception. Department/PI must make the exception request to the The Graduate Division and receive pre-authorization to offer the Postdoctoral Scholar reimbursement for removal expenses as part of initial recruitment.

What are eligible move related expenses?

Eligible expenses include those listed in APM-560: packing; freight; insurance of household goods; air coach transportation; meals en route (limits apply if travel is by automobile); household goods (i.e. appliances, furniture, clothing); vehicles.

Expenses that are not included in this policy are items incurred after arrival, such as but not limited to temporary housing, short term rentals, and rental cars.

Please note that for all reimbursements, invoices and receipts must be submitted.  (This list is not exhaustive and other limitations apply.)

What type of funding can be used to reimburse a postdoctoral scholar for a move?

Discretionary (i.e. start-up funds) is the most common source of reimbursement for a move. If a grant or funding agency policy allows for moving expenses as part of recruitment for a postdoctoral scholar, then the reimbursement can be charged to that grant.

Is there a maximum dollar amount for a move reimbursement?

There is no limit to the amount that can be requested for reimbursement. The exception memo should include the maximum dollar amount the PI will reimburse. The postdoctoral scholar can be reimbursed up to the requested amount for eligible expenses.

APM-560 states that reimbursement is for one-half the total cost of transportation, meals en route etc. Does this apply to postdoctoral scholars?

Postdoctoral scholars can be reimbursed up to the predetermined, negotiated amount set forth in the initial and approved request.

Does the Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs have money/funds to contribute to a move reimbursement as part of a recruitment for a postdoctoral scholar?

The Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs does not provide moving expense funding. It is up to the PI to determine whether funds (i.e. discretionary funds, start up, grant) are available and can make the offer to the postdoctoral scholar.

How do we apply for an exception to reimburse a postdoctoral scholar for a move?

A memo requesting the exception should be sent to the Office of Postdoctoral Scholar Affairs at The memo should be addressed to Interim Dean Judy Kim. The memo should include the maximum dollar amount of the reimbursement, the reason for the exception request and should ensure that APM-560 guidelines will be met.

Is there a template for a move reimbursement request?

Yes. Below please find a template to request a move reimbursement as part of recruitment of a postdoctoral scholar. The request must include:

  • Acknowledgement that the request is an exception to policy
  • The request for the exception is being made as a part of recruiting the postdoctoral scholar to UC San Diego
  • The reimbursement will follow the guidelines set forth in APM-560
  • The maximum dollar amount that will be reimbursed

Please see template here: Move Reimbursement Template (PDF)