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Photo: Ben Margot/AP
Photo: Ben Margot/AP

There’s still time to get COVID-19 hazard pay help in Pennsylvania

A new grant program to help employers in the state provide hazard compensation started accepting applications on July 16 and will close on July 31.

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As essential workers continue to brave going to work amid the surging coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania is offering a way for their employers to compensate them for the effort.

Launched on July 16, the COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program is another part of the state’s $2.6 billion allocation from the federal CARES Act. While small business aid got $225 million of the pie, hazard pay is getting its own $50 million chunk, and is run out of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

“Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in sectors that are vital for every Pennsylvanians’ existence,” reads the program’s web page.

Eligibility is determined by industry and the hourly rate of employees.

The following essential industries are eligible for hazard grants: healthcare and social assistance (in-home nurses, aides, etc.), food manufacturing (farm workers, for example), food retail facilities (workers in grocery stores), transportation services, security services for aforementioned industries, and janitorial services.

Employers can apply for up to $1,200 per full-time equivalent employee, which is being defined as a full or part-time employee earning less than $20 an hour without benefits or overtime pay.

The hazard pay grants will be enough to add $3 per hour for the 10-week period of Aug. 16 through Oct. 24. 

Employers can apply for up to $600,000 per location (pay for up to 500 employees). No single employer will receive more than $3 million.

The deadline to apply for hazard pay is July 31, 2020.

For more guidelines on how to apply, visit here. Applications are submitted through the Electronic Single Application (ESA). Any further questions should be directed to DCED customer service at [email protected] or 1-866-466-3972.

This article is part of Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project among more than 20 news organizations, focused on economic mobility in Philadelphia. Read all of our reporting at brokeinphilly.org

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