Can someone help me decode the per diem rates?


I am just now starting to look up per diem rates per the government website but I am confused. For example I am looking at

This is for Santa Barbara where I just worked. I was there in July. So according to this, the number under July is 180. So what exactly does that number mean? Then meals is over at the end for 66, what does that mean?

Thanks for the responses!;)


79 Posts

The $180 is the lodging amount limit and the $66 is the max for meals and incidentals. If you get straight per diem, you would get these 2 amounts combined. When I worked for the government, we would get the total meal amount and could stay at any hotel, as long as it was under the hotel limit.


85 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 9 years experience.

Is that per day?


40 Posts

Specializes in L & D; Maternal/Child. Has 9 years experience.

You will not get those rates for a travel contract. Hospitals are very cheap. My last contract to Texas paid $510.00 per week for housing and $201.00 per week for meals. And that was based on working 36 hours a week. If I was on call or called off, my per diem was reduced.

I worked CA last year and the rates were just a little more...$20-30.00 each


85 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 9 years experience.

Right, I understand I won't make that exact amount, but it's something to go off of when I get contracts. Thanks for all of the replies!