When Will NYS Health Care Bonus Be Paid?

New York Governor Kathy Hochul recently unveiled the Health Care Worker Bonus program to attract and retain front line health care and mental hygiene workers in her state. At an estimated cost of $1.3 billion, this state-funded plan aims to increase healthcare employment by 20% within five years; bonuses could reach $3,000.

The Health Care Bonus submission period began October 1 and concluded March 31. Over 10,000 DC 37 members took part, including NYC Health and Hospital employees, EMS workers, School Nurses, Social Workers, Patient Care Associates and many more positions that directly provide patient care.

To qualify for the Health Care Bonus, an employee must meet several requirements. They must work for an eligible employer (see “Qualifying Employers and Eligible Job Titles” below) earning less than $125,000 annually, working consecutively during any of the vesting periods beginning October 1 2023 and ending March 31 2024; also included under this program are full-time, part-time, temporary or contracted employees.

Bonuses are distributed via an Employee Health Care Bonus Tax levied on employers by the state and deducted directly from wages. Employees should understand this tax’s implications and discuss it with their union leaders as soon as possible.

Employees should ensure they are receiving their proper share of funds. Western New York healthcare workers told 7 News they haven’t seen all their bonuses that should have come their way; one employee at The Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Home at Delaware Park told WKBW he has filled out all necessary forms but still awaits payment of his bonus, although he considered himself essential during the pandemic as a certified nursing assistant.

Another worker from Greater Amsterdam School District is waiting for her bonus payment as well. This worker worked as a school health aide during the pandemic and was also considered essential. According to WKBW, she believes this payment has been delayed because of a change in policy regarding bonuses for essential workers – the district acknowledged making an error but offered to return half of what it gave back instead; considering filing suit against it; state Department of Labor have confirmed they’re investigating this matter as well.

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