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How do I File a Reimbursement Claim?

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  • Written By: Tess C. Taylor
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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While there are many reasons to file a reimbursement claim, from medical costs to business related expenses, no two reimbursement programs have the exact same requirements. There are some general rules to follow when filing a reimbursement claim that can make this a smooth process and guarantee funds will be reimbursed in a timely manner. It is important to carefully read the reimbursement forms and follow instructions set forth by the reimbursement programs.

A critical step when filing a reimbursement claim is to gather all the necessary documentation needed. This proof that the expense occurred is required by all reimbursement programs. Examples of documentation include photocopies of purchase receipts, paid invoices, and other forms of payment proof. In addition to submitting documentation in a timely manner, it’s important to retain copies of this documentation for your personal files.

Another important step when requesting a reimbursement is to use the proper forms, which are generally provided by the reimbursement administrator. Reimbursement forms are generally either provided by the human resources department or they may be obtained directly from the reimbursement company. Each form must be carefully filled out with the correct information and sent in using the requested method, which is usually by fax or postal mail.

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It is also advisable to file a reimbursement claim only for the allowable items that can be reimbursed. Not all items purchased or paid for are reimbursable. Examples of this can include alcoholic beverages purchased during company meals, medical costs for medicines or procedures not prescribed by a physician, or travel expenses that are not approved by a corporate officer. If in doubt, check with an immediate supervisor or the human resources department before making these purchases for which you may not be allowed to file a reimbursement claim.

Once you file a reimbursement claim, follow up with a human being within a couple of days to be sure it has been received properly. This requires making a phone call to ensure that the forms have been received and that the request is being processed. Often, a minor error such as a lack of a receipt, a forgotten signature, or other mistake can delay the reimbursement request.

Most reimbursement agencies can take two to eight weeks to process requests after you file a reimbursement claim. If the claim hasn’t been approved or paid out within a reasonable amount of time, it’s a good idea to contact someone in your accounting or payroll department for assistance. Each company typically has a person assigned to work as a liaison between individuals and reimbursement agents to help if there is an issue with a delayed reimbursement.

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