American Rescue Plan Act – Premium Pay
In alignment with the guidelines prescribed by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), funding has been set aside to provide Premium Pay to eligible public sector workers. These funds are intended to respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing Premium Pay to those workers who were both needed to maintain continuity of operations of essential services and unable to perform their duties remotely. Premium Pay is designed to compensate workers that, by virtue of their employment, were forced to take on additional burdens and faced a higher risk of exposure as a result. Premium Pay may be thought of as hazard pay by another name.
ARPA Frequently Asked Questions:
Q1. What are the eligibility criteria for receipt of Premium Pay?
Eligible workers will receive a payment determined by the performance of “essential work,” length of time worked, and salary. For all government workers, employee eligibility is to be determined in collaboration with Agency Heads and HR offices. Agency Heads and HR are asked to classify employees into a Premium Pay category for final eligibility and payments to be determined.
Q2. How are the payment criteria determined?
The USVI program provides either $2,000, $1,500, or $500 premium payment to eligible workers depending on the volume of essential work performed and the salary threshold
- Category A - If essential work is performed for more than 3 months between March 23, 2020, and March 31, 2021, the worker is eligible for full payment ($2,000 or $1,250 dependent on wage threshold)
- Category B - If any essential work is performed during stay-at-home periods (March 23, 2020, through April 30, 2020, and/or August 13, 2020, through September 8, 2020) worker is eligible for full payment ($2,000 or $1,250 dependent on wage threshold)
- Category C - If essential work is performed for two weeks (80 hours or full-time equivalent)
to 3 months during May 1, 2020, through August 12, 2020; or September 9, 2020, through
March 31, 2021 (not during stay-at-home periods), the worker is eligible for reduced
Q3. What are the criteria for ineligibility?
- Category D - Employee does not perform essential work. These employees may have opted to work in-person rather than telework. This category would also include employees who may have been required to work in-person but were not regularly interacting with others or handling items handled by others.
- Employees that earned $70,000 or more.
- Employees that were employed with more than one entity will not qualify for Premium Pay at UVI.
Q4. How will I receive the payment?
The Office of Management and Budget will mail a check to the address affixed on the W9 form.