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Home health care workers can get $1,500 COVID-19 hazard pay

Posted at 4:34 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 17:47:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Men and women who provided in-home care for patients with Medicaid between March 12 and June 30, 2020, are eligible for $1,500 in COVID-19 hazard pay.

The money is coming from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the governor's office announced Thursday.

“Home health care workers are often unseen, unsung, and underpaid, but they do the vital work of caring for vulnerable Virginians,” Governor Ralph Northam wrote in a statement about the payment. “Their jobs put them at higher risk during this pandemic, and this hazard payment is a way we can acknowledge that they put themselves in harm’s way to help others.”

The state estimated 43,500 people are eligible to receive the one-time, pre-tax $1,500 payment.

“The majority of home health care workers are women, and women of color, providing critical health services for low pay,” Senator Louise Lucas, Chairwoman of the Senate Education and Health Committee wrote in a statement. “This hazard payment acknowledges the essential work that they do and the risks they took especially in the early months of the pandemic, when less was known about this virus. It is one way we can show appreciation to the people who do such important work.”

The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) is working with providers to make sure eligible workers get their hazard pay.