This article explains how to claim costs associated with travelling to or from appointments by completing a Sessions Calendar appointment from a session record.
To claim worker travel costs you'll need:
- a current service agreement that allows travel claiming, and
- a service that allows travel claiming.
If the services that you are claiming against do not allow for travel claiming, the relevant fields will still appear, but no service delivered (SD) records will be created for those services.
When including travel as part of a service, the system will use the rate of the service that was delivered to calculate the travel cost. As per NDIA rules, travel claims are restricted to:
- 30 minutes in metro areas, and
- 60 minutes in regional areas.
The NDIA has not set limits for remote and very remote areas.
To claim for travel using sessions:
- Click on the Sessions Calendar tab or navigate to the client's Calendar. Sessions can also be opened by clicking on their text link in the Sessions list view.
- Navigate to your session and click on it. This will open an information panel on the right.
- Click on the session name text link to open the session record.
- Click on the Complete button. This will bring up the Complete Session form.
- Check that the Travel Area field at the top of the form shows the correct area. This should have been set during the creation of the session, but can be altered here if needed.
If multiple workers were assigned to a session, then their travel details will need to be added in separate steps in the Complete Session form. This is because each worker may travel different distances, or have incurred different costs when travelling and individual service delivered records will need to be made accordingly. The name of the worker relating to the travel details you are currently filling out will be shown at the top of the Complete Session form. Each step will represent a different worker, with the final step being a confirmation of all details.
- Depending on the session details, the Worker travelled to this session checkbox may already be ticked. If it isn't, but does apply to your worker, then put a tick in this checkbox.
- Add the amount of time in minutes that the worker travelled to the appointment in the Total Travel Time To Appt (mins) field.
The time spent travelling is used to calculate the labour costs associated with travelling to or from an appointment. This time will be charged per minute at the rate calculated from the rate that is charged for the service that the travel is related to or from the negotiated rate in the client's service agreement, if they have one.
- Enter the distance in km travelled to the appointment in the Total Distance Travelled to Appt (KM) field.
The distance travelled is used to calculate part of the non-labour costs associated with travelling to or from an appointment. This may involve the costs associated with running a vehicle and is charged per km travelled. The rate charged per km will be taken from the default rate set by your organisation, or the negotiated travel rate for the client, if they have one.
- In the Apportionment section, directly below the Total Travel Time To Appt (mins) field, enter the portion of the travel that will be charged to each client in the Client Portion field. This will default to apportion the cost evenly between clients, but can be changed.
Cost claiming restrictions
All fields on the Complete Session form will be available to be filled in, but not all costs may be claimed by every client. In the Apportionment section, under the Cost Claiming column, each client will have an indicator of whether they are allowed to claim the costs for that section. This status can be different for each client in each section of the form and may be Allow, Labour Only, Non-Labour Only or Prevent. SD records will only be created for travel services that the client is allowed to claim, but all data entered into the form will be recorded for data collection purposes within your organisation.
- If any non-labour travel expenses were incurred, click on the Add Expense button in the Travel Non-Labour Expenses section. Note that you must enter a zero or greater value in the related Total Travel Time or Total Distance Travelled fields in order to generate a service delivered record for the expense.
Travel non-labour expenses
Non-labour expenses are expenses that are incurred beyond the time taken for the service to be delivered. These fields can be used to capture expenses like road tolls or parking fees.
- Enter the description for the expense in the Expense Description field.
- Enter the cost of the expense in the Amount field.
- In the Apportionment section below the Add Expense button, apportion the non-labour costs between clients. This apportionment applies to all non-labour travel expenses, but can differ from labour travel expenses apportioned above.
- If this was the last appointment of the day and you would like to claim the travel costs from this appointment, put a tick in the Last appointment of the day checkbox.
- The Travelling From An Appointment section will open and can be filled out in the same way as the Travelling To An Appointment section.
- If you would also like to claim for costs involved with transporting a client during a session, see this article.
- Once all details are filled out, click on the Next button and fill the information in for any remaining workers.
It is important to check that all information is filled out correctly in the Complete Session form. Individual SD records are created for every labour and non-labour expense for each client and worker, for both travel and transport. This can result in a significant number of SD records being created that can be difficult to edit later.