Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) in cosponsoring the Pandemic Responder Service Award Act to establish an award program for front-line health care workers who responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. The total annual award, up to $10,000 adjusted for inflation, would be based on time served and would be available for up to four years.
“Our frontline health workers put themselves at tremendous risk every day, and in doing that, they’ve saved thousands of lives in Nevada. They deserve our thanks for their service—and more importantly, our support. I’m proud to cosponsor this legislation to create a program like the G.I. Bill for health care workers who’ve shown up for others day in and day out in the midst of this pandemic.”
The Pandemic Responder Service Award Act proposes an award for frontline health care workers who responded to the COVID-19 pandemic that can be used to pay off existing student loans, obtain further education, or establish a savings account to purchase housing, start a business, save for retirement, or save for dependents.
The annual award, available for 4 years, would be equal to the average cost of in-state tuition at a public institution of higher education, which in 2020 is $10,000, but which would be subsequently adjusted for inflation. Award levels would also be adjusted based upon duration of service at risk.
The award would be available to those who provided any of the following services: health care and patient care in hospitals, including emergency medical services, janitorial staff, transport staff and laundry and food services; COVID-19 related health care at a doctor’s office, health care center or clinic; home health care, including any provision of care to individuals in their homes by direct service providers, personal care attendants and home health aides; behavioral health services, including mental health services and substance abuse counseling; nursing care and residential care in nursing homes and other residential facilities, including community group homes, and including support staff; and mortuary services.