More re: HCW Bonus Program

August 3, 2022


New York State Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus (HWB) Program

Program Information

New York’s essential front line health care and mental hygiene workers have seen us through a once-in-a-century public health crisis and turned our state into a model for battling and beating COVID-19.

To attract talented people into the profession at a time of such significant strain, while also retaining those who have been working so tirelessly these past two years, we must recognize the efforts of our health care and mental hygiene workforce and reward them financially for their service. To do so, as part of the Fiscal Year 2023 New York State Executive Budget legislation, $1.2 billion in funding has been allocated for the payment of bonuses for certain frontline healthcare workers.

Located within Part ZZ of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2022, the HWB provision allows for the payment of bonuses to “recruit, retain, and reward health care and mental hygiene workers” meeting specified eligibility requirements. Bonus amounts will be commensurate with the number of hours worked by eligible workers covered by the HWB Program during designated vesting periods for up to a total of $3,000 per covered worker.

Qualified Employers

Qualified employers include certain providers with at least one employee, and that bill for services under the Medicaid state plan or a home or community-based services (HCBS) waiver, providers that have a provider agreement to bill for Medicaid services provided or arranged through a managed care organization or a managed long term care plan, and certain educational institutions and other funded programs. These include certain providers, facilities, pharmacies, and school-based health centers licensed under the state Public Health Law, Mental Hygiene Law, and Education Law, as well as certain programs funded by the Office of Mental Health (OMH), Office for the Aging, Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), and the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

Submission details for qualified employers will differ based on if they are Medicaid or non-Medicaid employers.

Medicaid employers must be currently enrolled and payable through eMedNY and have an active MMIS ID to be able to submit on the HWB Program Portal. Providers who are not currently enrolled with eMedNY should visit the eMedNY website to learn more about how to enroll.

Employers submitting for non-Medicaid employees should submit on the HWB Program Portal utilizing their SFS Vendor ID. Employers who have staff eligible for bonuses, but ineligible for workforce bonuses under Medicaid should contact the appropriate state agency they operate under for program details. The agencies with providers who do not have an active MMIS ID (Non-Medicaid) may include: Office of Mental Health, Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, Office of Children and Family Services, and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports.

The education portion of the bonus program will rollout in October.

Medicaid providers that are qualified employers but employ workers paid by the State should work through their respective State agency.

Worker Eligibility

Qualified employees must be “front line health care and mental hygiene practitioners, technicians, assistants and aides that provide hands on health or care services to individuals”. An employee is only qualified if they work for a qualified employer (as described above) and under an Eligible Worker Title (as listed below).

Employees must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Qualified employees must continuously employed by a qualified employer for the duration of at least one vesting period (see below)
  • Qualified employees must have an employee title included on the list of Eligible Worker Titles;
  • Qualified employees must not exceed an annualized base salary (excluding any bonuses or overtime pay) of $125,000, as evidenced by an Employee Attestation, which they must complete and return to their employer;
  • Qualified employees can be full-time, part-time or temporary employees as well as independent contractors; and
  • Qualified employees must not be suspended or excluded from the Medicaid program during the vesting period.

Bonus Requirements

Qualified employers are required to submit claims for bonus payments for their qualified employees that meet the eligibility criteria (as described above) for participation in the HWB program.

Claims must be submitted for qualified employees within 30-days after the department publishes a vesting schedule for completed vesting periods, and thereafter within 30-days after the end of each additional vesting period. An employee vests if they have worked for the employer for the entire duration of a vesting period in an Eligible Worker Title.

Upon employee vesting, Qualified employers must provide employees with an Employee Attestation Form and request this be returned to the employer prior to the claims due date of the claim (i.e., 30 days after vesting).

Qualified employers must pay bonuses to eligible employee no later than 30 days after the bonus amount is paid to the qualified employer.

Qualified employers will pay bonus amounts to qualified employees based on the number of hours worked during the vesting period as defined below:

  • Qualified employees who work at least 20 hours but no more than 30 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $500;
  • Qualified employees who work at least 30 hours but no more than 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,000; and
  • Qualified employees who work at least 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,500.

A qualified employee is eligible for up to two vesting periods per employer. The maximum any employee may receive is $3,000.

Vesting Periods

A vesting period is defined as a series of six-month periods between the dates October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2024. A vesting period must entail a consecutive six-month period. Employers will claim for all eligible employees whose 6-month vesting period ends within the defined vesting periods as outlined below

Vesting Period
Start Date
Vesting Period
End Date
Employer Submission
Start Date
Employer Submission
Close Date
One October 1, 2021 March 31, 2022 August 3, 2022 September 2, 2022
Two April 1, 2022 September 30, 2022 October 1, 2022 October 31, 2022
Three October 1, 2022 March 31, 2023 April 1, 2023 May 1, 2023
Four April 1, 2023 September 30, 2023 October 1, 2023 October 31, 2023
Five October 1, 2023 March 31, 2024 April 1, 2024 May 1, 2024

The Vesting Period Schedule is also available for download as a PDF.


A qualified employer who fails to identify, claim, and/or pay any bonus for more than 10 percent of bonus eligible workers may be subject to penalties of up to $1,000 per violation of the HWB Program.

The Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) will audit of payments released by eMedNY to ensure funds were appropriately claimed and dispersed.

Employer Submission Process

Qualified employers are required to claim the bonus on behalf of their employees. An employee is not able to claim bonuses independently.
The following attestations will be required for a complete claim submission:

The employer must create an account using a valid MMIS ID, on the HWB Program Portal by enrolling on or after Wednesday, July 27, 2022.
Employers submitting for non-Medicaid employees should submit claims using the HWB Program Portal utilizing their SFS Vendor ID.

Once enrolled, employers must either:

  1. download a submission template that will allow for bulk data submissions, or
  2. may choose to submit via manual entry.

The Technical Portal Guide instructions can be found on the HWB Program Portal.

Eligible Worker Titles for the Bonus

Employee worker titles eligible for the bonus include certain workers that provide hands-on assistance with health services (i.e., clinical) or care services (i.e., non-clinical). To be front-line, such workers must provide or directly support the provision of health or care services to patients in certain settings and work under one of the titles listed in the statute. These eligible worker titles are listed under SOS § 367-w(2)(a)(i) and (ii) and mirror titles from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job listings and the State’s Consolidated Fiscal Reporting and Claiming (CFR) manual or under the authority provided by SOS § 367-w(2)(a)(iii).

Note on “All Other Health Care Support Workers”: This title refers to other workers that are similar to the titles listed in this statute, and that support the provision of health care services to patients in front-line settings for these titles. Such workers must support patient-facing care provided within a patient care unit of a hospital or other institutional medical setting in support of treating and caring for patients.

The full list of Eligible Worker Titles are listed in the table below:

Frontline Direct Care Health and Mental Hygiene Workers All Other Health Care Support Workers Titles Determined by the Commissioner

Assistant Program or Assistant Site Director
Case Manager
Certified First Responders
Certified Recovery Peer Advocate
Clinical Coordinator
Counselor – Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (CASAC)
Counseling Aide/Assistant – Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
Counselor – Rehabilitation
Dental Hygienists
Dental Assistants
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Exercise Physiologists
Licensed Mental Health Counselor (OASAS)
Licensed Mental Health Counselor (OCFS)Medical Assistants

Mental Hygiene

Behavior Intervention Specialist 1Behavior Intervention Specialist 2CounselorCrisis Prevention Specialist
Developmental Disabilities Specialist QIDP-Direct Care
Developmental Disabilities Specialist/Habilitation
Specialist QIDP-Clinical
Early Recognition Specialist
Intensive Case Manager
Intensive Case Manager/Coordinator
Job Coach/Employment Specialist
Licensed Psychoanalyst
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Peer Specialist
Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)
Transition Coordinator
Senior Counselor
Mental Hygiene Worker


Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse
Licensed Practical Nurse
Nurse Anesthetist
Nurse Midwives
Nurse Practitioner
Nurse Practitioner/Nursing Supervisor
Nurse’s Aide/Medical Aide
Nursing Assistants
Registered Nurse
Other Clinical Staff/Assistants
Other Direct Care Staff
Peer Professional-Non-CRPA (OASAS Only)
Pharmacy Technician
Physician Assistant
Program or Site Director
Psychiatric Aide
Psychologist (Licensed)
Psychologist (Master’s Level)/Behavioral Specialist
Psychology Worker/Other Behavioral Worker
Residence/Site Worker
Social Worker-Licensed (LMSW, LCSW)
Social Worker-Master’s Level (MSW)
Speech-Language Pathologist


Activity/Creative Arts Therapist
Marriage and Family Counselor/Therapist
Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational Therapy Aide
Physical Therapist
Physical Therapy Assistant
Physical Therapy Aides
Radiation Therapist
Recreational Therapist
Respiratory Therapist
Speech Therapist
All Other Therapists

Technologists and Technicians

Advanced Emergency Medical Technician
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technician
Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technician
Dietetic Technician
Emergency Medical Technician
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologist
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
Ophthalmic Medical Technician
Radiologic Technologist
Surgical Technologist
All Other Health Technologists and Technicians
Therapy Assistant/Activity Assistant

Building Attendant
Building Service Aide
Building Service Worker


Admitting Clerk
Admitting Clerk Cashier
Critical Care Clerk
Discharge Control Clerk
Emergency Services Clerk
Front Desk Clerk
Operating Room Clerk
Registration Clerk
Unit Clerk
Ward Clerk
Dietary Aide
Dietary Worker
Dining Assistant
Dining Aide
Environmental Service Aide/Tech
Environmental Services Worker
Floor Maintenance Worker
Food & Nutrition Aide
Food Prep/Service Worker
Housekeeping Worker and Maid
Lead Intake Specialist
Maintenance/Physical Plant workers
Sanitation Worker
Service Worker
Support Services Worker
Unit Assistant
Unit Associate
Unit Coordinator
Unit Receptionist
Unit Secretary

Medical Fellow
Medical Resident

Additional Information

Additional information can be found on the HWB Program Portal or by calling the Health Care Worker Bonus (HWB) Call Center at: (866) 682-0077