New York State will soon begin processing payments for the $1.3 billion health care worker bonus program enacted in the state budget.
Governor Kathy Hochul expanded the list of job titles eligible for the bonus to include cleaners and dining staff who work in health care settings.
What is the Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus program?
The Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus program will benefit eligible workers who earn less than $125,000 annually and remain in their position for at least six months, according to a release.
Disbursements will be based on the number of hours workers and duration of service within designated ‘vesting periods’ for up to a total of $3,000 per employee.
The new HWB provision is authorized under part ZZ of New York’s 2022-2023 Enacted Education, Labor, Family Assistance Health and Mental Hygiene Bill.
It puts in place an incentive program for the purpose of recruiting, retaining and rewarding eligible health care and mental hygiene workers.
Who is eligible?
Employees eligible for HWB payments “provide hands-on health care services and can include certain front line health care and mental hygiene practitioners, technicians, assistants, support staff and aides,” according to the Wednesday, August 3 release.
State employees who meet the eligibility requirements can receive bonuses, too. Those will be distributed through existing state payroll systems.
Bonuses for employees will be determined by specific “vesting periods,” or hours worked during a consecutive six-month period between October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2024.
Qualified employees who work:
- At least 20 hours but no more than 30 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $500.
- At least 30 hours but no more than 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,000.
- At least 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,500.
Eligible employers can submit employees who qualify for HWB payments by creating an account on the online HWB portal, which will be open on August 3, 2022, at www.nysworkerbonus.com. The health care worker bonus portal will open for education sector employers in October.