Knowledge and Insights

Are You Eligible for Additional Relief from the COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program?

The state of Pennsylvania has $50 million set aside for a reimbursement-based grant available through Pennsylvania’s Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED).  The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant has an extremely short application window – JULY 16 – JULY 31, 2020.

Unlike the Paycheck Protection Program grants, the funds from this grant are not used to pay the eligible employees their normal pay, but to pay an extra $3 per hour in hazard pay to eligible employees.  The grant period is for 10 weeks, 8/16 – 10/24/2020 and can only be used for this purpose.

The employer must be located and operating in PA and can be any business entity type. An individual can’t apply for this grant, but a sole proprietor with eligible employees can. 501 (c) 3 non-profits that provide health care services, public transportation agencies and Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO) are also eligible applicants.

In addition, the employer must be in an eligible life-sustaining industry:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance,
  • Food Manufacturing,
  • Food Retail Facilities,
  • Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings,
  • Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation, and
  • Security Services for the eligible industries above.

According to the published guidance from the DCED, the applications will be prioritized based on the industries listed above.

The maximum grant amount is $3 million, with up to $1,200 per eligible Full Time Equivalent (FTE). An eligible employee can be a full-time or part-time employee who earns less than $20 per hour excluding fringes and overtime.  If the employer has more than one location, one application can cover all the locations.  There is a $600,000 maximum per location and there can be up to 500 eligible FTEs per location.

Note that employees working from home are not eligible employees.

Employers need to certify that they pay employees at least the $7.25 hourly federal minimum wage and that they are paying the employer share of FICA taxes.

The items listed above are just some of the criteria to be eligible for this grant. Mercadien’s COVID-19 Task Force can offer valuable advice to assist an employer in determining if they should apply before the July 31, 2020 deadline.  Additionally, we can help you explore the other grant and loan options available and help you choose which is best for your organization. Contact our task force through our COVID-19 Assistance Request Form or Frank Pina, CPA, Managing Director at or 609-689-2319.

DISCLAIMER: This advisory resource is for general information purposes only. It does not constitute business or tax advice, and may not be used and relied upon as a substitute for business or tax advice regarding a specific issue or problem. Advice should be obtained from a qualified accountant, tax practitioner or attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where that advice is sought.