​​​Payment Information ​FAQs
Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facility COVID-19 Worker Retention Payments

​1. A​re Covered Entities (CEs) or Covered Services Employers (CSEs)​​ required to offer a bonus payment in order for employees to b​e eligible to receive a retention payment?

Although employer bonus payments are not required for employees to be eligible to receive a base retention payment, an employee may be eligible to receive an additional matching retention payment amount if they received a bonus payment from the employer on or after December 1, 2021, or will receive a bonus payment before December 31, 2022. A bonus payment is monetary compensation paid to an employee by the employer as:

  • Hazard or bonus pay as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Bonus pay based on performance or financial targets, or a payout resulting from performance sharing programs designed to provide employees with a share in performance gains.

  • Compensation in response to operational needs, including, but not limited to, staffing shortages or recruitment needs.

2. How much is the ret​ention payment?

  • For an eligible full-time employee, the state payment amount will be up to $1,000, plus the amount of matching retention payment paid to the eligible full-time employee by the CE or CSE, up to a maximum state payment of $1,500.

  • For an eligible part-time employee, the state payment amount will be up to $750, plus the amount of matching retention payment paid to the eligible part-time employee by the CE or CSE, up to a maximum state payment of $1,250.

  • For an eligible physician, the state payment amount shall be up to $1,000.

Department of Health Care Services (DHCS)​ may reduce payment amounts described above subject to pro rata reductions based on volume of requests and funding appropriated.

3. Will employees be expected to return any excess funds if they receive more than one $750 base retention payments from part-time employers by​ mistake?

Employees should not be paid more than once. Employers should make every effort to avoid requesting multiple retention payments for a single employee. Employees who receive more than one retention payment should return the excess payments to DHCS.

4. Will DHCS publi​sh how much each employer received in retention payments, and how many eligible employees were part-time/full-time?

DHCS will track and document payments made to CEs or CSEs, but will not publish information on individual payments for payments made under Labor Code section 1490 et seq.

5. Will there be any funds allocated to​​ employers for payroll taxes, as well as additional administrative costs to make modifications to their payroll systems, cut additional checks, etc.?

There are no funds allocated to CEs or CSEs for costs associated with disbursing the retention payments, which should ultimately result in cost savings through employee retention.​​

6. Are the retention payments subject to payroll taxes? (new as of 11/18/2022)

The Department of Health Care Access and Information, in consultation with appropriate stakeholders, released Hospital Technical Letter No. 35​, which provides guidance to CEs, CSEs, physician entities, and eligible physicians on how to report this revenue for tax purposes. Employees and employers are also encouraged to consult a tax professional or tax attorney with questions about the tax treatment of WRPs.​

7. Can an eligible worker or eligible physician opt out of receiving a retention payment? (new as of 11/18/2022)

Eligible workers or physicians may opt out of receiving a retention payment. Workers electing to opt out should advise their employers of this choice prior to the application submission date, which is scheduled to begin on November 29, 2022. If payment is received and rejected, the money should be returned to DHCS. Procedures for returning funds will be posted in the coming weeks.

8. If we submit an application on time and all submissions exceed the funding available, do all submissions receive a lower payment, or is it first submitted, first paid, and later submissions receive no payment? (new as of 11/18/2022)

Once the application period is closed, DHCS will compare the total applications received to the appropriated funding. If the total amount of incentive payments exceeds the appropriated funding, payment amounts will be reduced on a pro-rata basis for all eligible workers.

9. For the matching retention payment, can we take into consideration a combination of bonus programs to qualify for the matching retention payment? Is it limited to one type of bonus program? (new as of 11/18/2022)

CEs and CSEs may consider multiple bonus programs when determining total matching retention payments, as long as the bonuses meet the matching retention payment requirements.

10. Will receiving a retention payment be used in determining whether someone is a public charge? (new as of 11/18/2022)

If you intend to apply for a retention payment and are applying for a green card, visa, or admission into the United States, consulting with an immigration or public benefits attorney will help you better understand whether the retention payment may impact your individual case.​​

Last modified date: 11/18/2022 9:04 AM