Emergency paid leave funds still available to civilian employees

  • Published
  • By Donovan Potter
  • 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Federal employees may be eligible to receive up to 600 hours, or 15 weeks of emergency paid leave for reasons relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The qualifying period runs now through Sept. 30, 2021.

Paid leave is made available through the American Rescue Plan, which Congress passed into law in March, creating a $570 million emergency paid leave fund.

Emergency paid leave is granted to full-time federal employees on a conditional basis.

Part-time employees are also eligible for a prorated benefit depending on the number of hours they work.

Federal workers can receive emergency paid leave for the following reasons:

• If they are subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19,
• Advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 issues,
• While caring for someone who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order,
• Personally experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis,
• Experiencing any other substantially similar condition- requires additional approval through AFSC/DP
• Caring for a child whose school or day care is closed or provider is not available,
• Caring for a family member with a mental or physical disability or is age 55 or older,
• Recovering from an illness or condition related to a COVID-19 immunization.

Employees will be paid at the same hourly rate as other paid leave.

The total amount of leave payment, including premium pays, cannot exceed $2,800 per biweekly pay period.

Any emergency paid leave reduces an employee’s total service, used to calculate civilian retirement annuity benefits.

Employees who previously took sick leave or other chargeable or non-chargeable leave covered under this program may request that it be retroactively applied to any leave taken for an EPL qualifying reason on or after that date.

If program funds runs out before the request can be reimbursed, the EPL will be cancelled and the employee will be responsible to repay any EPL paid out.

Employees who want to explore the possibility of qualifying for emergency paid leave should see their supervisor, who in turn should contact their respective Employee Relations Specialist for further guidance on the process.

Emergency paid leave is conditional, and is available until the end of September or until the $570 million fund is depleted.