American Rescue Plan Act - Paid Leave Benefits for DSP/PCAs

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) which went into effect April 1, 2021. Among other things, this federal act extends the paid sick leave and extended family and medical leave benefits for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FCCRA) which ended March 31, 2021.
Summary of Significant Paid Leave Changes Under ARPA
  • Extension of tax credits for employers providing paid leave until 9/30/21.  Employers are still not required to provide paid leave but can access the credits if they choose to.
  • Adds two more reasons for when leave can be taken: 1) obtaining an immunization related to COVID-19 or recovering from any injury, disability, illness or condition related to such immunization; or 2) seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-19, when such employee has been exposed to COVID-19 or the employer has requested such test or diagnosis.
  • Establishes a new two week period for employees to access paid leave starting April 1st.  Therefore, if an employee used two weeks of paid leave prior to April 1st, they could be eligible for another two weeks of paid leave between April 1st and September 30th.
  • Allows the emergency FMLA benefit to be accessed for all the paid leave reasons, including the two new reasons, as opposed to just because a school or day care center is closed.  In addition, the Plan eliminates the two week waiting period (currently EMFLA is for 12 weeks but only 10 are paid – under this bill all 12 weeks are payable), and increases the cap on the emergency FMLA cap from $10,000 to $12,000.

Resources and Additional Information: