When Will NYS Health Care Bonus Be Paid?

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When Will NYS Health Care Bonus Be Paid?

New York state health care workers bonuses have begun being distributed. This $1.3 billion program, intended to address staffing shortages due to COVID-19 pandemic, will be paid through existing state payroll systems over specific six-month vesting periods based on each employee’s work weeks in those periods and will only pay out once eligible.

An employee must fulfill several criteria in order to be eligible, including being employed by an agency receiving funding under their state Medicaid plan or home and community-based services waiver, such as public or private hospitals, providers of mental hygiene services, pharmacies or school-based health centers. They also need to serve patients directly; such services could include providing direct patient care by means of aides, nurses or support staff members who directly care for patients.

To be eligible for the bonus, workers must dedicate at least 20 hours each week over a six-month vesting period at qualifying agencies, be at least 18 years old, and received an annualized base salary (excluding bonuses and overtime pay) that falls within $125,000 or below. Furthermore, bonus payments will be considered supplemental wages that will be taxed similarly as other overtime earnings and subject to both Federal and non-New York State income taxes.

The state does not publish an exact schedule of when bonuses will be distributed, but estimates that employees who worked during the first of two vesting periods could see their first payment by mid-October. Submission for the second period, from October through March, opens on Oct 1. EMS workers as well as DC 37 members working at NYC Mayoral and Health + Hospitals agencies may submit, in addition to social workers, school nurses and clinical staff such as RNs, LPNs, PAs and MAs who provide direct patient care will all have submissions open Oct 1 for direct patient care services provided during that period.

As previously indicated, the State does not anticipate having to provide bonuses beyond those already allocated in its fiscal year 2023 budget. However, future state revenues may alter its budgetary capabilities in ways that necessitate additional bonus payouts; regardless, the Department of Health emphasizes how employers must submit workers’ claims as soon as they become eligible – any delays do not alter criteria that qualify an employee as eligible – so as to minimize administrative burden for both workers and employers alike. Efforts have already begun underway by streamlining submission processes as well as creating an early 2019 web portal which should make this process even simpler than before for both groups involved – both parties benefit immensely from such efforts by streamlining submission processes as well as creating a simplified submission system streamlined submission system should make life simpler overall for workers/employers alike!

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