H2R CPA Blog

COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program

by Jeff Wolstoncroft, CPA

On Thursday, July 16, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $50 million in grant funding to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will be received between July 16, 2020 and July 31, 2020.

Complete details of the program and a link to the application can be found on the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development website. A summary of the program is provided below.

Brief Summary

  • It appears the money will go to the medical system first, but all employer types are eligible to apply but will be granted on employers with employees on the front line and with the lowest pay.
    • Many other industries (see below) do qualify
  • Must be in compliance and stay in compliance with all state laws and orders.
  • These are federal funds subject to Single Audit.
  • Will be paid as $3 on top of current pay and is reimbursed at the end of the program.
  • Must apply online by July 31.  Application will not guarantee funds.

Detailed Summary

  • The fund is to provide Employers hazard pay to employees in Life-Sustaining occupations during COVID-19 Pandemic.
    • Life sustaining business in PA and paying PA employees.
      • Life sustaining business are the businesses outlined in the Governor’s March 19, 2020, Business Closure Order or a business who received a waiver.
    • Frontline workers are defined as follows:
      • “Employees facing the hazards of COVID-19 and have continued working through the Governor’s March 19, 2020, Business Closure Order as a life sustaining business”
    • Eligible industries are as follows:
      • Health Care and Residential Care Facilities
        • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
        • Hospitals
        • Ambulatory Health Care Services
          • Offices of Physicians
          • Offices of Dentists
          • Offices of Other Health Practitioners
          • Outpatient Care Centers
          • Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories
          • Home Health Care Services
          • Other Ambulatory Health Care Services
      • Food manufacturing
        • Animal Food Manufacturing
        • Animal Slaughtering and Processing
        • Dairy Product Manufacturing
        • Fruit and Vegetable Preserving and Specialty Food Manufacturing
        • Bakers and Tortilla Manufacturing
        • Other Food Manufacturing
        • Grain and Oilseed Milling
          • Sugar and Confectionery Product Manufacturing
          • Seafood Product Preparation and Packaging
      • Food Retailers
        • Grocery Sores
        • Convenience Stores
        • Specialty Food Stores
      • Healthcare and Social Assistance
        • Social Assistance
          • Child Day Care Services
          • Individual and Family Services
          • Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services
          • Vocational Rehabilitation Services
      • Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings
      • Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
        • Urban Transit Systems
        • Interurban and Rural Bus Transportation
        • Generalized Freight Trucking
        • Specialized Freight Trucking
      • Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
  • These are Federal funds, so they are subject to Single Audit rules if Federal expenditures are over $750K.
  • The funds may not supplant any current hazard pay or other compensation.  So if an employer is voluntarily paying a hazard pay to utilize PPP or other reasons, they may have to keep paying it to utilize this program.
  • Eligible uses of funds is to pay $3 hazard pay for employees making less than $20/per hour.
    • This is before fringes and overtime
    • For the period 8/16/20 to 10/24/20
    • Hazard pay is defined as “additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship, in each case that is related to COVID-19”
  • Must have been in compliance with all state laws and orders and stay in compliance with Governors and Health department orders
  • CEDO’s applying on behalf of other eligible organizations may apply for a 5% Admin Fee
  • Limited to $1,200 per employee ($3/hr * 40 hrs/week * 10 weeks)
  • Max grant is Total FTEs making under $20/hr *$1,200
    • Capped at $3M
      • CEDOs and Health care NPOS applying for more than one entity may exceed $3M
      • Multiple locations may apply individually.
  • Apply at www.esa.dced.state.pa.us
  • Apply by July 31, 2020
  • Applications are not guaranteed and are not first come first serve; will be evaluated once submitted and granted based on the following criteria:
    • Risk of exposure by industry
    • Location and prevalence of COVID-19
    • Average hourly wage paid by employer
  • Defines exposure to COVID-19 in four categories:
    • Very High – Jobs with a high potential exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19 during specific medical, postmortem, or laboratory procedures. Workers performing aerosol-generating procedures, or collecting/handling specimens from potentially infectious patients.
    • High – Jobs with a high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19. Healthcare delivery and support, medical transport and other workers exposed to known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
    • Medium – Jobs that require frequent/close contact with people who may be infected, but who are not known or suspected patients. This includes: Those who may have contact with the general public, including individuals returning from locations with widespread COVID-19 transmission, or who do not have the ability to social distance at their place of employment.
    • Low – Jobs that do not require contact with people known to be, or suspected of being, infected. Workers in this category have minimal occupational contact with the public or other co-workers.
  • Grant is reimbursable once after 10/24/2020 and by 10/31/2020

As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to your H2R CPA liaison.