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Client Alert – Healthcare Worker Stipend

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CLIENT UPDATE: Governor Sununu announces new program to provide healthcare workers on the “front-line” a $300 a week stipend.   

On Tuesday, Governor Chris Sununu announced a new program that will provide full and part-time workers on the “front-line” of the home health and long-term care industry with a weekly stipend. The program aims to be an incentive to retain and hire workers at Medicaid-funded facilities that are experiencing a shortage of workers due to the COVID-19 public health crisis. It is estimated the program will provide 25,000 workers with weekly stipends and the cost of the program will be reimbursed using federal COVID-19 grants.

Highlights of the program include:

  • A weekly stipend of $300 will be available for eligible full-time workers ($150 for part-time workers). At this time is not clear what will constitute full or part time; however, early indications suggest working 37.5 hours or more per week will constitute full-time.
  • The program will apply to employees of home health agencies and long-term care facilities who must be physically present to perform their jobs and cannot work from home. Support staff that can work from home will not be eligible for the stipend.
  • The weekly stipend will be considered income and subject to federal income tax.
  • The new program will initially launch through the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security and transition to the Department of Health and Human Services. The goal behind the two-fold launch is to ensure that funds are available to front-line workers as soon as possible. 
  • Employers will have to apply on behalf of their employees through the Department of Employment Security website and must complete a weekly certification indicating their eligible employees. Although the application is not available at this time, Department officials have indicated that the application will be available shortly (possibly by close of business today) and that additional guidance will be published on their website: https://www.nhes.nh.gov/index.htm

Wadleigh’s COVID-19 Response Team will continue to monitor announcements from the State as additional guidance is released.