I am a new traveler. Actually, I spent last winter in Florida, but was hired directly by a hospital system at a flat hourly rate, which I thought was stellar, and had to find housing on my own. That was all fine and went off without a hitch.
I am now talking with multiple travel companies about doing some localish (within 2-3 hours drive of my home in Southern NJ) travel contracts this winter and I'm finding the numbers-crunching kind of mind-numbing. Several agencies are telling me that they pay their nurses a super low hourly rate on paper because it is taxable, but bulk the majority of the payout under Meal and Lodging Stipend to avoid it being taxed. The first agency to tell me this said that the hourly rate they pay nurses is TWELVE DOLLARS!
Their daily rate x 7 days a week for housing stipend is $144 per day. That part of it comes out to about $1K a week. I mean, I guess it sort of makes sense, but I can't honestly see myself actually signing my name to a contract where I'm agreeing to being paid 12 bucks an hour! In your experiences, is it true that Meals and Lodging allowance is NOT taxable?
Is this the industry standard? Are the ads for "$45 an hour pay rate AND free, private, furnished housing!" a scam? I'm totally scratching my head over this and really, really want to avoid being scammed by an agency on my first assignment through an agency. Thanks so very much (in advance) for sharing your experiences! Peace!
Jan 9, '13
Agencies that advertise greater than $40/hr are not a fraud or scam....I'm on assignment now with Fastaff making $45 an hour/48 hr guarantee...I am housed in the Candlewood suites which to me is better than a 1 BR apt..I don't have to pay for cable or wifi and am close to the hospital. I have a kitchenette and am able to cook...sometimes if extended stays aren't available or aren't decent enough near the hospitals, you will be housed in a regular hotel...but even with the $45/hr...if I wanted to find my own housing, my stipend would be $400 weekly with no change in my hourly rate.
Last edit by BluntForceTrauma on Jan 9, '13
: Reason: Error