Fitness Benefit Reimbursement – Frequently Asked Questions

Harvard Chan School – Fitness Benefit Program – Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is the Harvard Chan School – Fitness Benefit Program?

A: The Harvard Chan School Fitness Benefit Program provides financial assistance to faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows who wish to enhance their well being through physical activity at a health club, gym, fitness center, or facility that provides cardio or weight equipment for independent use.

Q2: Who is eligible?

A: Benefits-eligible faculty, staff and postdoctoral fellows on the regular Harvard Chan School payroll who work at least 17.5 hours per week are eligible after one year of employment at the school.

If you are not sure if you are eligible, send an email to Human Resources at to confirm before submitting an application for reimbursement.

Q3: What is the amount of reimbursement?

A: The maximum reimbursement for the year is dependent on your years of service at Harvard, according to the following schedule:

  • Less than 1 year: not eligible
  • Between 1 – 5 years: $350.00
  • 5 or more years: $550.00

PLEASE NOTE: If you had prior years at the Harvard Chan School, or another school at Harvard, those years of services will be considered once you have completed a full year of service from your most recent Harvard Chan School start date.

Q4: How many times can I apply for the fitness benefit per fiscal year?

A: You can submit no more than two reimbursement requests per fiscal year. For example:

Harvard Chan School Service: 8 years
Maximum benefit: $550.00
Application 1: $250.00
Application 2: $300.00
Total reimbursement: $550.00

Q5: I submitted a fitness benefit reimbursement form, but I have not yet received it. What do I do?

A: First log on to “PeopleSoft Employee Self Service”, then click on “View Paychecks”. The fitness benefit reimbursement will appear in a separate line with its own separate paystub. If you have multiple direct deposit accounts set up in PeopleSoft, your fitness reimbursement amount will be allocated accordingly.  If you have not received your reimbursement within the 4-6 weeks timeframe, please follow up by sending an email to and an HR representative can look into it.

PLEASE NOTE: If you submit your fitness reimbursement form in mid- to late-December, in June, or the beginning of July, it can take approximately 6-8 weeks.

Q6: I don’t like to share my credit card or bank statement information, what do I do?

A. Have a representative at your gym write a letter (including gym’s contact information) verifying that you are an active member, the total payment(s) made, and the date the payment(s) was made.

If you have a monthly auto-withdrawal payment set up with the gym, ask them to include in the letter the following information: your name and address, date it’s withdrawn from your bank account, the amount paid, frequency (whether monthly, weekly, etc.), and the total amount paid in the current fiscal year.

Q7: Is the fitness benefit based on a calendar year or fiscal year?

A: The fitness benefit is based on a fiscal year basis. When submitting the appropriate materials for reimbursement, all checks, invoices and receipts must have a date that falls within the current fiscal year.

Q8: What items are eligible for reimbursement under the fitness benefit?

A: Individual or family memberships to a health club such as the Harvard Recreation, Harvard Longwood Vanderbilt Gym, Crunch, Planet Fitness, YMCA, etc. Membership fees to more specialized clubs (i.e. tennis/swimming clubs) may be eligible if the club membership you have with the gym includes access to gym equipment at the facility. The benefit does NOT apply to in-class/online memberships, studio memberships, or tennis/swimming clubs. For example: ClassPass, OrangeTheory, SweatApp, Peloton, yoga studios, boxing gyms, climbing gyms, personal/group training etc. do not qualify.

Q9: If I made a purchase in a prior fiscal year, may I get reimbursed for that purchase in the current fiscal year?

A: No. You can only be reimbursed for membership payment(s) made in the current fiscal year.

Q10: Once I’ve completed my 1 year of benefits-eligible service at the Harvard Chan School, can I be reimbursed for expenses made prior to my 1 year of service?

A: No. You can only be reimbursed for payments that were made after your 1 year of service.

Q11: How do I apply for the fitness benefit reimbursement?

A: Complete the online Fitness Benefit reimbursement form for the current fiscal year and upload a proof of payment to the form.  Should you have any trouble uploading your proof of payment, you can email it to

Q12: I was unable to take advantage of the fitness benefit last year and the year before that. Can my benefit be accrued and carried over to this year?

A: No. The benefit is not carried over from fiscal year to fiscal year.

Q13: I just joined the Vanderbilt Hall Gym and will be paying for my membership through payroll deduction. What do I need for reimbursement?

A: If you choose to pay for your membership through payroll deduction, you must wait until you have paid for the amount you are requesting on the reimbursement form you submit.  REMINDER: You have a maximum of two fitness reimbursement forms you can submit per fiscal year (see Q:4).

Q14: I lost my receipt for gym membership; what do I do?

A: Request a letter from a representative at the gym you joined with their letterhead and have them provide the following information: your name and address, date you paid, amount paid, frequency (whether monthly, weekly, etc.), and the total amount paid.

Q15: I (the benefits-eligible employee) bought a family membership to the YMCA. Can I be reimbursed for total cost of the membership or am I just authorized for reimbursements for individual memberships under my name and for my own use?

A: You can be reimbursed for the total cost of the health club family membership you paid for, so long as the membership is under your name and you, the employee, also benefit from the membership.

Q16: My spouse bought a family membership to a health club and I am able to benefit from the family membership.  Can I submit reimbursement although the membership and proof of purchase is under my spouse’s name?

A:  Yes, so long as the benefits-eligible (BE) employee is able to benefit from the health club/gym using the spouse’s family membership, the employee can request for a fitness benefit reimbursement.  PLEASE NOTE: The proof of payment must show it is a family membership (i.e. family membership; 2-adult membership) and it must include the employee’s name.

Q17: How are fitness reimbursement forms reviewed and by whom?

A: The fitness applications are reviewed by Human Resources. After approval, they are sent to Financial Services for processing. Payments are processed as additional pay compensation. Reimbursement takes approximately 4-6 weeks (up to 8 weeks if submitted in mid- to late-December, June or beginning of July).

Q18: I am a Harvard Chan School employee who transferred from another school at Harvard. I had five years of service at GSE and I have been employed with the Harvard Chan School for one year. I did not have a break in service when I transferred. What is my maximum benefit for the year?

A: You must first complete one year of service at the Harvard Chan School before you can be eligible for the fitness benefit.  Once you complete the 1 year at the Harvard Chan School, your maximum benefit for the year will be based on your benefits-eligible (BE) service at Harvard University.

Q19: My last day is next week.  Can I still submit a fitness reimbursement?

A: Yes, you can still submit a request for your fitness benefit prior to your last day.  Payroll will request an off-cycle check and send it to you by mail.