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Luria fights for fair pay for military medical professionals amid COVID-19

Elaine LuriaHampton Roads military medical professionals are providing support to New York aboard the USNS Comfort. Congresswoman Elaine Lura has joined an effort to ensure they receive the pay they have earned from their service.

Luria cosponsored the Pandemic Hazard Pay Expansion Act, which would expand hazard pay to servicemembers whose duties involve frequent exposure to COVID-19 during the public health emergency.

“Our military medical professionals are on the front lines of fighting the coronavirus pandemic and they deserve to be compensated fairly for their service,” said Luria. “Medical servicemembers, like those deployed on USNS Comfort and Mercy, do not currently qualify for hazard pay. This bill will ensure that these servicemembers get the compensation they deserve.”

Frontline health workers do not currently qualify for the additional $250 per month, known as hazard pay, that is authorized for servicemembers whose duties involve inherent danger, including service in designated combat zones, flight duty, and work with hazardous pesticides, viruses, or bacteria.

The Pandemic Hazard Pay Expansion Act would correct this by amending 37 USC 351 to expand hazard pay to servicemembers whose duties involve frequent exposure to a cause of a declared public health emergency.

Governors in all 50 states, in addition to Puerto Rico, Guam, and the District of Columbia have mobilized over 10,000 members of the National Guard to aid response efforts in their states. On military stations across the country, uniformed medical professionals are providing care to the infected within their own ranks.