H2A Farmworker Quarantine Reimbursement Program

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The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) COVID-19 H2A Farmworker Quarantine Reimbursement Program will help offset the financial burden of quarantine accommodations for workers that test positive for COVID-19 in off-site locations. Employers that have farmworkers with valid H2A visas can apply for assistance through this program. A total of $2 million will be available and has been approved by the N.C. General Assembly, which comes from federal COVID-19 funds earmarked for North Carolina.

The application period opened on April 14 and will continue through December 15, 2021, or when program funds are exhausted. These funds are provided through CARES Act funding and subject to any changes to the federal legislation. “Farmworkers have always been critical to agriculture, but the pandemic has shown how essential a healthy workforce is to agriculture and our food supply,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “While it is a priority for all farmworkers get vaccinated, this program will enable employers to safely quarantine workers who test positive for COVID-19 and hopefully minimize spread to their coworkers and others.”

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in serious and substantial impacts on the food supply chain, including migrant farm labor in North Carolina. The H2A program is a critical component in planting and harvesting of North Carolina commodities.

Under this program, employers that have farmworkers with valid H2A visas will be eligible for reimbursement of the cost of meals and lodging for the duration of the quarantine period, not to exceed the per diem rates for federal employees. The employer on record for the farmworker with a valid H2A visa may submit a reimbursement request on behalf of any farmworker requiring to be quarantined following a positive test for COVID-19, provided the employer covered the initial eligible expenses out-of-pocket on behalf of the farmworker.

The program will be for expenses incurred from March 11, 2021, through the 2021 growing season.

Required documentation to receive reimbursement must be mailed to:

H2A Reimbursement Program
NCDA&CS Research Stations Division
1001 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-1001

Required materials:

*Original receipts
*Copy of online application
*Signed copy of IRS W-9 form
*Letter from Health Department or other health care provider with positive results and dates quarantined (template for Public Health Letter)
*Expense Reimbursement form (draft of expense reimbursement form)
*Copy of migrant housing authorization from NCDOL (Beth Rodman must be contacted prior to moving employees to off-site housing)

Please contact H2Acovidprogram2021@ncagr.gov with any questions regarding this program.

Written By

Karen Blaedow, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionKaren BlaedowExtension Agent, Agriculture - Vegetable and Small Fruit Call Karen Email Karen N.C. Cooperative Extension, Henderson County Center
Posted on Apr 15, 2021
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