NYS Medicaid Healthcare Worker Bonus Program

This year’s New York State Budget included $1.3 billion in the Medicaid program for the payment of bonuses for the purpose of retaining, recruiting and rewarding employees in frontline health care and mental hygiene positions. This is in recognition of the strain these employees experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to experience now.

While dentists themselves are not eligible for this bonus program, dental assistants, dental hygienists and some office personnel may be.

Certain conditions must be met for staff to be considered for these bonuses, including:

  • Dental employers must be currently enrolled and active in the NYS Medicaid program, with at least 20% of their patients eligible for Medicaid services.
  • The employee must earn less than $125,000 annually.

New York State has launched a website providing details about this program along with a portal to submit claims:  Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus Program (HWB).

In order to claim the bonus on behalf of their employees, employers should create an account on the HWB portal. An employee is not able to claim bonuses independently.

Eligible awards are based upon the hours qualified employees work:

  • At least 20 hours but no more than 30 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $500.
  • At least 30 hours but no more than 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,000.
  • At least 35 hours per week are eligible for a bonus of $1,500.

A qualified employee can receive up to a maximum of $3,000 in total bonus payments over two vesting periods.

Disbursements will be determined by specific “vesting periods” or hours worked during a consecutive six-month period between October 1, 2021, through March 31, 2024. Please note that there is only a one-month window to file a submission for each vesting period.

NYS Healthcare Worker Bonus (HWB) Program Vesting Schedule

Vesting Period

Vesting Period Start Date

Vesting Period End Date

Employer Submission Start Date

Employer Submission Close Date


October 1, 2021

March 31, 2022

August 3, 2022

September 2, 2022


April 1, 2022

September 30, 2022

Oct 1, 2022

October 31, 2022


October 1, 2022

March 31, 2023

April 1, 2023

May 1, 2023


April 1, 2023

September 30, 2023

Oct 1, 2023

October 31, 2023


October 1, 2023

March 31, 2024

April 1, 2024

May 1, 2024


For more information about the Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus Program and for a full list of eligible worker titles visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/providers/hwb_program/


HWB Portal

Providers with additional questions may contact the Health Care Worker Bonus Call Center at (866) 682-0077 or via email at nysworkersbonus@health.ny.gov.