Relocation assistance in the form of reimbursement is standard protocol for physicians relocating from one city or state to another to a specific job. The amount a physician will be reimbursed tends to vary from one position to the next, depending on the cost of living, the location of the workplace, and the budget of each employer. While the dollar value of reimbursement will differ, there are certain types of expenses that are almost always eligible for reimbursement. These expenses fall into categories of inevitable expenditure that are essential to relocating. One of the benefits of relocation reimbursement is that physicians can choose when and where to spend their relocation funds and can pick their preferred vendors, means of transportation, and temporary housing location.
Transportation is key when relocating for a new job. Whether physicians and their families choose to fly, take a train, or drive to their new location, traveling is a must and with travel comes any number of expenses. If air travel or train travel is preferred, those tickets can be reimbursed. In the event that a doctor opts to drive to their new location, it’s likely that mileage reimbursement will be offered. It’s important to save receipts for any and all expenses incurred during travel, like meals, baggage fees, and incidentals. If you’re uncertain if a particular expense qualifies for reimbursement, it’s better to err on the side of caution and submit it than to potentially miss out on the opportunity to be reimbursed.
House Hunting Trip
While it is certainly possible to purchase or rent a home sight unseen, employers do not expect that of physicians, which is why in most cases house hunting trips pertaining to relocation are eligible for reimbursement. These trips should be relatively short in order to qualify for reimbursement, but allow for doctors to bring their families along to scope out new homes in their new city. Any additional expenses incurred during these trips, including meals, cars, or other incidentals, may also be eligible for reimbursement, depending on the terms of the agreement with your new employer. It may be helpful to ask in advance of your trip which expenses qualify for reimbursement.
Short Term Housing
In some scenarios, physicians who are relocating may need temporary or short term housing when they arrive in their new city. Sometimes it takes longer than expected to close on a house or the relocation happens quickly without enough lead time to search for a new home or rental. In situations such as these, many employers will reimburse doctors for short term housing for themselves and their families for up to thirty days, during which time more permanent housing can be acquired.
Packing & Unpacking
Doctors are busy, and often cannot spare the time for packing or unpacking. Hiring professionals to perform these essential services is typically covered for relocation reimbursement. Doctors can pay their moving company to pack up their current home and after arriving at the new destination, the movers will help complete the move by unpacking everything, helping make the transition as seamless as possible. Having movers on board to help with packing and unpacking not only saves doctors and their families a significant amount of time, but also helps prevent adding to stress to what is likely an already stressful situation. Moving is already hard enough, and reimbursement for packing and unpacking services keeps it from being any more difficult than it has to be.
In addition to reimbursement available to cover packing and unpacking services provided by movers, relocation reimbursement almost always covers the cost of hiring movers to perform the move itself. In some cases the move will be more involved and therefore more expensive than in others, and having these costs reimbursed often makes the move more manageable for doctors and their families. While moving to a nearby state or city may be possible within a day or two, bigger moves, like those across the country, can take several days of movers driving trucks filled with your belongings for thousands of miles. Bigger moves are quite costly, and reimbursement for movers ensures that these costs don’t become the doctor’s burden. Knowing that these expenses can be recouped makes big changes much easier.