GT IndependenceResources and ToolsResourcesWhat is the FFCRA and Why Does It Matter to Me?

What is the FFCRA and Why Does It Matter to Me?

May 19, 2021

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

President Biden extended the FFCRA benefits on March 11, 2021.  The FFCRA is designed to help both employees and their employers by providing, for private employers, paid sick and family leave that is dollar-for-dollar reimbursed through a refundable tax credit.

This page has been created to provide information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This is a law to help employees in this time of national emergency. (View Department of Labor Poster Here.) For the purpose of this article, caregivers will be referred to as employees.

What is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)?

The FFCRA provides paid sick time and Paid Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time to those affected by the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19. It started on April 1, 2020, and went through March 31, 2021. It was enforced starting April 18, 2020. President Joe Biden extended FFCRA until September 30, 2021.

There are two types of benefits your employees may be eligible for:

14 Days of Paid Sick Time

This is for employees who cannot work due to being sick or in a closed care setting because of COVID-19 (Paid Sick Time).

12 Weeks of 2/3rds Pay

This is for when employees cannot work because their child’s school or childcare provider is closed because of COVID-19 (FMLA).

There are different rates of pay based on their situation. GT Independence will help you with those amounts based on the reason and what they have been paid.

What changes did the American Rescue Plan Act make to the FFCRA?

FFCRA now includes three (3) additional reasons to qualify for FFCRA Paid Sick Time or Emergency FMLA.

  • If an employee is seeking or awaiting the results of a diagnostic test for, or a medical diagnosis of, COVID-10 and after exposure to COVID-19 or test or diagnosis at the employer’s request.
  • If an employee is obtaining immunization related to COVID-19
  • If an employee is recovering from any injury, disability, illness, or condition related to COVID-19 immunization.

Frequently Asked Questions About the FFCRA

Will the funds come out of my budget?

No, the funds will come out of taxes that would normally go to the government.

How does an employee qualify for paid sick time?

The employee must fall under one of the nine reasons on the poster. All of these reasons are from COVID-19. Please see the poster from the Department of Labor.

How does an employee qualify for FMLA under the FFCRA?

  • An employee may get FMLA FFCRA benefits if they meet any of the 9 reasons for eligibility under the FFCRA guidance.
  • The employee must have worked for at least 30 days.

Will an employee need to provide documentation for their leave?

Yes, employees will need to complete the Employee FFCRA Claim Form showing that they fall under one of the nine reasons. Employees will need to list all needed information on the form.

Does it apply to me and my employees?

Yes, the FFCRA applies to you because you have less than 500 employees. In very rare cases, you could be exempted from this act. This would have to be decided case-by-case and would have to be sent in writing. Employees must complete the FFCRA Claim Form.

How is the paid time figured out if they are not working?

Employees are paid based on the hours they normally work. GT Independence will help you with the amount using what they were paid in the past.

How does an employee apply to be paid under the FFCRA?

Employees must fill out and send GT Independence’s Employee FFCRA Claim Form.

When will my employees be paid for sick leave and FMLA through FFCRA?

Employees will be paid by the payroll schedule. Employees should complete and send the Employee FFCRA Claim Form by the due date listed on the schedule.

Is this the same as unemployment benefits?

No, employees get unemployment benefits when they are laid off or cannot work. The FFCRA benefit is paid for sick time and FMLA linked to COVID-19 for those still employed. An employee could not get benefits for both FFCRA and unemployment at the same time.

Can my employee just say they have COVID-19 symptoms and get this benefit?

Generally, no. An employee must be seeking a medical diagnosis or be told by a health care provider to self-quarantine.

Where can I learn more?

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Please contact us at GT Independence. We’re here to support you.