COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program

The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program was established to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in sectors that are vital to every Pennsylvanians’ existence.  The program will help employers provide hazard pay for their employees to retain current employees.  This reimbursement-based grant is for employers who will be offering hazard pay over the eligible program period.

Those enterprises eligible to receive funding must be of a certain enterprise type, operating within certain industries, and employ certain types of eligible full and/or part time workers making less than $20 hour. Those eligible may apply to support only those employees working in facilities located in PA. It is the enterprise which is eligible. Individual employees are not eligible to apply. Only their employer which is an eligible enterprise may apply for the enterprise’s eligible employees. Additional details are found below for your reference.  




·     For-Profit Businesses 
a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, business trust, or other commercial entity approved by DCED

·         Healthcare Non-Profits 
501(c)3 non-profit organizations that provide healthcare services.  This shall include a non-profit organization that provides education, development and support for frontline healthcare workers.

·         Public Transportation Agency 
A public transit agency, including but not limited to an airport authority, public airport, port authority, or similar public entity, created through the laws of this commonwealth, charged with the provision of transportation services to the traveling public, that owns and maintains or is authorized to own and maintain a physical plant, including rolling stock, stations, shelters, hangars, runways, maintenance and support facilities.  The term shall include municipalities that operate a mass transportation system.

ELIGIBLE Main Industry Groups:

  • Healthcare –
    • Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
    • Hospitals
    • Ambulatory Health Care Services
  • Food Manufacturing
  • Food Retail Facilities
  • 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
  • Security Services for eligible industries listed above

For additional details per group, see the DCED’s full program guidelines HERE):

Eligible Use of Funds:

Grant funds may be used to provide hazard pay (as defined in DCED’s full program guidelines) for direct, full-time and/or part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime.  The Funds may only be used to pay hazard pay for eligible employees for the 10-233k period from August 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020.  Hazard pay means additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship, in each case that is related to COVID-19.  The employees must be ‘front-line’ 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 or a business that received a business waiver.

Funding Amounts:

Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent employee to be paid over the 10-week period of August 16, 2020 through October 24, 2020 as a $3/hour hazard pay increase to their regular pay rate. This is in addition to any eligible overtime and other benefits, including employer paid hazard pay, and may not supplant any current compensation, nor may it supplant any scheduled increases to current compensation. Any hazard pay earned must be paid to the employee according to their regular pay schedule, and may not be withheld and paid in a later lump sum. Please be aware that the employer is responsible for paying any employer required taxes or other employer costs associated with this increase in pay to the employee. 

Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location ($600,000 maximum grant per location).  No Employer may receive more than $3,000,000 of the funding under the COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant Program.

If you believe you are eligible and wish to apply, you must go through the DCED HERE.