Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced that beginning Tuesday, August 4, public safety, public health, health care and human services employers whose employees worked to help mitigate or respond to COVID-19 may apply for hazard pay grant funds for their employees.
“It’s important for Vermonters to remember that the best way to support our health care heroes during this pandemic is to continue to limit the spread of this virus by wearing a mask, staying home when sick, washing our hands and following the state’s health guidance,” said Governor Scott. “We all have a role to play to limit the spread so we don’t overwhelm our health care system and can continue reopening our economy and schools.”
The Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program was established in Act 136 of 2020 using Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to pay eligible employees who worked during the COVID-19 public health emergency from March 13 through May 15, 2020.
The Hazard Pay Program allows covered employers to request funding to provide $1,200 or $2,000 in hazard pay to each employee who meets eligibility criteria. Eligibility is determined by conditions outlined by the Legislature in Act 136, including the risk of exposure to COVID-19, number of hours worked and employee’s hourly wage.
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 $28 million in funding is allocated. When employers who applied are approved, they will receive the award amount.
“We are pleased that we have developed a streamlined application process for employers to apply for the Hazard Pay Program,” said Human Services Secretary Mike Smith. “We are encouraging employers to apply to make sure these critically important employees receive recognition and compensation to reflect the work they did keeping Vermonters safe during the crisis.”
Covered employers eligible to apply on behalf of their employees are defined by Act 136 to include:
- Ambulance service or first responder service as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 2651
- Assisted living residence as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 7102
- Dentist’s office or a dental facility
- Federally qualified health center, rural health clinic, or clinic for the uninsured
- Health care facility as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 9432 or a physician’s office
- Home health agency as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 6302
- Homeless shelter
- Nursing home residence as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 7102
- Provider of necessities and services to vulnerable or disadvantaged populations
- Residential care home as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 7102
- Residential treatment program licensed by the Department for Children and Families
- Therapeutic community residence as defined in 33 V.S.A. § 7102
- Therapy provider contracted by a home health agency or nursing home
In addition, AHS is working with ARIS Solutions, the fiscal agent for the employers of Independent Direct Support Providers, to support the administration of grant funding to eligible Independent Direct Support Providers.
“Our frontline health care workers have done heroic work throughout this crisis, stepping up to serve their communities and the greater good, while putting their own health at risk,” added Governor Scott. “On behalf of all Vermonters, I thank them for their incredible service and sacrifice during this once-in-a-century health crisis.”
For more information, to apply using the online application (beginning Tuesday, August 4) and to sign up to receive periodic updates, please visit the Agency of Human Services’ website at humanservices.vermont.gov.
Media Note: The Scott Administration’s Tuesday, August 4 COVID-19 press briefing at 11 a.m. will further cover the Hazard Pay Grant Program.