Treasury Dept. confirms Premium Pay compensation program open for eligible workers
Employers of specific private sector industries can now access the link in their SURI accounts to request the payment of additional compensation, or Premium Pay, for employees who meet the eligibility requirements, Treasury Department Interim Secretary Ángel Pantoja-Rodríguez said.
The $2,000 Premium Pay payment comes from a $200 million fund allocated by Gov. Pedro R. Pierluisi, for additional compensation and is part of the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund under the ARPA Act of 2021.
The payments will be made while the funds are available, Pantoja-Rodríguez said.
“Employers related to commercial activities such as security services, health or health professionals, supermarkets, small grocery stores, pharmacies and cargo transportation, can now request Premium Pay compensation for their eligible employees, through their accounts in SURI. This is an opportunity to recognize so many workers who provided and continue to offer essential services related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the official said.
Employees who have earned a base salary or compensation of less than $40,000 for the 2020 or 2021 calendar year are eligible. They must have completed at least 500 hours of essential work in person since March 1, 2020, and when the Premium Pay application is submitted, they must continue to perform essential work on behalf of the eligible employer.
“It’s considered essential work to perform critical duties to safeguard the welfare and public health, such as interacting with patients or with the public in person, having duties that involve inventory management for the use of patients or the public or being a partner of someone who meets the first criteria,” Pantoja-Rodríguez added.
This program excludes hospital and Diagnostic and Treatment Center employees, because they will be eligible under another initiative that will be implemented by the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF, in Spanish).
To access the link, employers must enter their SURI accounts and select Premium Pay-Private Sector from the Alerts section. There they must complete the required information and press Submit.
The Premium Pay compensation will not count as income for the employer or for the employee and so will not be subject to income tax payments.