Gillibrand, Colleagues Introduce Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act To Compensate Important Staff Affected By COVID-19 – Oswego County Immediately

Logo from the press office of Kirsten Gillibrand.

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced the introduction of the Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act, which will create a new program for all key workers and employees injured or affected by COVID-19.

Modeled on the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF), the new fund would provide compensation to individuals or members of their families who were deemed essential workers who had to leave their homes to provide services and who became sick or died as a result from COVID-19.

The law will help recover vital workers across the country by providing critical financial assistance to help with medical expenses, job losses, business losses, replacement services, and funeral expenses. The legislation would also create a website to make fund access and simply the application process easier to maximize compensation for essential workers and their families.

“As we celebrate a year since the first confirmed COVID-19 case in New York, there is still a lot of work to do to supply the essential workforce that helped our state and our country deal with this public health crisis,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Congress must pass the Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act to provide critical resources to our nation’s heroes and their families. I am proud to support this important bill and will work with my colleagues to make sure it becomes law. “

The Pandemic Heroes Compensation Act:

  • Establish a compensation fund for all essential workers, employees and their families in all industries who have had to leave their homes to perform their services and who have become sick or died as a result of COVID-19;
  • Assists key workers affected by COVID-19 across the country with their recovery by providing critical financial assistance to help with medical costs, job losses, business losses, replacement services, and funeral expenses;
  • Approves earmarked funds as required for 5 years, with the fund finally closing a financial year after the special master has determined that no additional claims can be asserted;
  • Creates a new website and office to be developed and managed by a dedicated master to support the application process. and
  • Maximizes compensation for important workers and their families by simplifying the application process to get those affected back on their feet.

Family members who share a home with key workers and who became ill through contact with the key worker can also make a claim. The claim for compensation would allow applicants to submit information about the extent of their loss for consideration. Eligible persons would receive compensation no later than 20 days after approval.

Senator Gillibrand previously joined calls to create a federal fund – the Essential Frontline Worker Compensation Fund – to reimburse key frontline workers for the costs incurred by the American public during the pandemic. The Essential Frontline Worker Compensation Fund would help workers stay safe in the workplace and afford medical expenses, transportation, temporary housing, child care, and care for other long-lasting trauma that could come with serving at the forefront of this pandemic – including positive tests for COVID-19.

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