Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced the second round of the Frontline Employee Hazard Pay Grant Program, which was passed by the Legislature. This round expands the types of employers who are now eligible to apply and includes employees who worked for an eligible employer last spring during the worst of the pandemic in Vermont but are no longer working for that employer.
“I want to thank the Legislature for their work to expand this program,” said Governor Scott. “This phase recognizes some of the forgotten heroes of last spring: the people who kept us fed, housed our most vulnerable, cared for our children, and so much more. I appreciate the work of so many Vermonters to help us through this once-in-a-century crisis and know we have more work to do to help families recover from the impacts.”
The first round of the Hazard Pay Grant Program distributed approximately $28 million to those primarily in the healthcare and human services fields. The first round covered approximately 370 employer applications, equating to approximately 15,650 employees who received a grant. The second round expands the employer type to include sectors such as pharmacies, grocery stores and certain retail, and appropriates an additional $22.5 million. This round will be administered by the Department of Financial Regulation, in consultation with the Agency of Human Services.
The Hazard Pay Grant Program requires eligible employers to identify current and former employees who meet eligibility criteria. For example, the employee must have worked a certain number of hours between March 13 through May 15, 2020 and had an increased exposure to COVID-19. Employees are eligible to receive payments of either $1,200 or $2,000 depending on the number of hours worked and other eligibility criteria.
Grants will be awarded through an online application process and funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until the Program’s funding is depleted. Approved employers will receive their award amount for distribution to current employees and former employees will be contacted directly by the Department of Financial Regulation to continue the application and receive a direct payment.
“The Department is honored to administer this program and will seek to make the process as seamless and straightforward as possible for Vermonters during this difficult time,” said Commissioner Michael Pieciak. “We encourage interested employers to apply quickly as the program is first-come, first-served and we anticipate significant interest.”
Employers are encouraged to attend a webinar on Monday, October 26 at 3 p.m. to learn more about the program. A link to the webinar can be found on the Hazard Pay Grant Program website.
Online applications will be accepted beginning Wednesday, October 28 at 9 a.m. via the Hazard Pay Grant Program website: dvha.vermont.gov/front-line-employees-hazard-pay-grant-program.