SALEM — Oregon workers, who need to quarantine after being exposed to COVID-19, can now apply for financial support through a new program that launched this week.
The state began accepting applications Wednesday, Sept. 16, for its COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave program. Workers who need to quarantine because of COVID-19 symptoms or exposure and don’t have access to COVID-19-related paid sick leave can receive $120 per day for up to 10 days through the program, for a maximum of $1,200.
The Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board allocated $30 million in federal coronavirus relief money in July to set up the program. The state hopes the program will help bridge the gap left by the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, which required certain employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave to workers who needed to quarantine due to COVID-19.
The funds will only be available to individuals whose quarantine periods were in place during or after Sept. 16, when the program began, according to the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services. Individuals who quarantined earlier in the pandemic are not eligible for payments to cover those earlier absences.
The program will stay in effect until either the end of the year or until the money runs out.
To be eligible, individuals must have been directed to quarantine by a health care provider or a tribal public health authority and expect to make under $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020. Individuals must also work in Oregon and have notified their employer that they cannot work because they must quarantine.
Individuals who apply for unemployment insurance or workers' compensation for their quarantine period and those seeking benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs are not eligible. Individuals who have been laid off or furloughed are not eligible, either.
The state will pay claims by mailing a check to recipients. The payments are subject to income taxes.
The state has no estimate of how long it will take to process claims and begin making payments.