COVID-19 Hazard Pay in Vermont

Updated 9/2/2020 9:45 a.m.

The State of Vermont has created a Front-Line Employees Hazard Pay Grant Program for certain groups of employees who worked between March 13 and May 15, 2020. These employees may be able to get $1,200 or $2,000 in hazard pay through their employer.

 What types of employees may be eligible?

  • Public health
  • Public safety
  • Health care
  • Human services

What types of employees are not eligible?

  • State and federal employees
  • Independent contractors or self-employed Vermonters, unless they worked for ARIS
  • Vermonters who received unemployment compensation for any week between March 13 and May 15, 2020

Are there other rules?

To be eligible, an employee must have:

  1. Worked at least 68 hours between March 13 and May 15, 2020
  2. Worked at a job with an “elevated risk of exposure” to COVID-19 due to providing in-person care or services to the public, cleaning areas where potentially exposed people were, or had physical contact or close contact with the public
  3. Earned less than $25 an hour (except home health agency and nursing home staff can have higher pay)
  4. Worked for one of the eligible employers listed below:
  • Assisted Living Residences, Residential Care Homes and Therapeutic Community Residencies
  • Nursing Homes and any employer contracted by Nursing Homes to provide respiratory, physical and occupational services within the facility
  • Health care facilities including doctor’s and dentist offices
  • Home Health Agencies and any employer contracted by Home Health Agencies to provide respiratory, physical and occupational services within the facility
  • Homeless shelters
  • Federally Qualified Health Care Centers
  • Department of Children and Families licensed residential treatment programs
  • Morgues
  • Non-municipal ambulances or first responders
  • Providers of necessities and services to vulnerable or disabled populations

How much hazard pay can I get?

If you worked between 68 and 216 hours between March 13 and May 15, 2020 you may get a grant of $1,200.

If you worked at least 216 hours you may get a grant of $2,000.

When will the hazard pay be distributed?

If approved you should receive a lump-sum one-time payment before November 14, 2020.

How do I apply?

Your employer must apply for you. Ask your employer if they know about hazard pay and if they are willing to apply on your behalf.

When can your employer apply?

The application process started August 4, 2020. Applications will be approved first-come, first-served until the money runs out. All applications must be received by October 31, 2020.

Where can I get more information and the application?

Find more information about the hazard pay program on the Department of Vermont Health Access website.

Follow this link for the application.

I am home health worker paid by ARIS, but they are not my employer. Can I still get hazard pay?

Yes, ARIS Solutions has the authority to apply for a grant in the same manner as a covered employer. ARIS Solutions may apply for grant funding for independent direct support providers who have worked enough hours and had elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19.

My employer will not apply for hazard pay on my behalf. Can I apply on my own?

Only covered employers may apply for a hazard pay grant to disburse hazard pay to their employees. At this time, there is no other grant opportunity for which Vermonters can apply on their own behalf. Covered employers also have the responsibility of determining which of their employees are eligible and attesting to employee eligibility on the application.

I was working in a qualifying public health, public safety, healthcare or human services position between the dates of March 13 and May 15, but I’ve since left that job. Can I still get hazard pay?

No. Unfortunately, only current employees are eligible for hazard pay.

I heard that grocery store workers, delivery people and childcare providers would be able to get hazard pay. Is this true?

No. Unfortunately, hazard pay is limited to public health, public safety, healthcare and human services employees.   

Will hazard pay affect my public benefits?

Receiving hazard pay could affect public benefits that are based on your income.

Contact the Office of the Health Care Advocate at Vermont Legal Aid about how your hazard pay may impact your health care benefits, including Medicaid. Call 1-800-917-7787 with any health care questions.

Hazard pay will not affect your eligibility for these benefits from the Economic Services Division of Vermont's Department for Children and Families:

  • Reach Up, Reach Ahead, Reach First, Post Secondary Education Program
  • General Assistance
  • Essential Person
  • Child Care Financial Assistance Program
  • Fuel Assistance

You should report the pay (call 1-800-479-6151), but it will not affect your benefits.

If you participate in the 3SquaresVT program (food stamps), you should report the hazard pay to the Economic Services Division of the Department for Children and Families (call 1-800-479-6151). For most people, the hazard pay will not affect your benefits. Did you have to pass a resource test to get 3SquaresVT? If you did, hazard pay counts as a resource the month you get it. What if you did not have to pass a resource test? Then hazard pay does not count as income for 3SquaresVT. You can contact us if you have questions. 

Most benefits should not be reduced. If they are, you can ask for a fair hearing. 

Contact us at Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aid for help. Call 1-800-889-2047 or fill out our Legal Help Request form.

What if I do not want to get this hazard pay?  

Tell your employer you do not want it. You have the right to turn it down.  

 

Updated: Sep 02, 2020