Applications to get the “hazard pay” grant payments enacted by the Legislature will be coming from school districts to members by Nov. 9. School employees need to turn in that form to their district by Dec. 4 in order to receive these grants – up to $500 or $250 depending on your employment category. MEA advocated for parity in the payments, but the Legislature opted for this structure.
The Michigan Treasury Department is administering these payments and has set up a website at www.michigan.gov/TSSC19Grants with more details and frequently asked questions. Lawmakers created these grants to acknowledge the hard work, extra costs and increased risks taken by many front-line school employees during the pandemic, shifting quickly to virtual learning for students while continuing to maintain the supports needed by Michigan students to the best of our ability. The state will distribute checks with the grant funding on or about Feb. 25, 2021.
Recent guidance from Treasury clarifies eligibility for these grants– including bus drivers, counselors, social workers and other school employees who might have been left out under initial announcements about the payments. MEA’s advocacy was critical in securing this new guidance. If you believe you are eligible for one of these grants but were not included by your district or you believe you have been incorrectly classified, contact your district administration right away. Members that are not able to resolve eligibility issues with their district should contact their local MEA UniServ office. Issues must be resolved by Dec. 4 or you risk being ineligible, so act quickly.
MEA is aware that some members – including some pre-K and adult/higher education employees – are left out of these grants under the bill passed by the Legislature. We are continuing to advocate with lawmakers to include all school employees – please contact your state representative and senator to make your voice heard on this issue.