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COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave

Thursday, April 29, 2021
CPM 2021-15
Kathleen M. McGettigan, Acting Director
COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2).  The Act included provisions authorizing emergency paid leave (EPL) for covered Federal employees in specified qualifying circumstances through special funds. 

The EPL provision in section 4001 of the Act is administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  The attachments to this memorandum provide necessary guidance, including a high-level summary of key features, detailed guidance, templates, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

OPM also has responsibility to provide detailed guidance on implementing the retirement provisions in the EPL authorities administered by OPM, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Transportation Security Administration, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  That guidance is being provided in a separately issued Benefits Administration Letter. 

In addition, OPM is issuing separately another Benefits Administration Letter providing detailed instructions to agencies on submitting reimbursement claims to the OPM-administered Fund established under section 4001 of the Act. 

Additional Information 

Agency headquarters-level human resources offices may contact OPM at with their questions.  Agency field offices should contact their appropriate headquarters-level agency human resources office.  Employees should contact their agency human resources office for further information on this memorandum. 

cc:  Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCOs), Deputy CHCOs, Human Resources Directors, and Work-Life Coordinators 

Attachments (See 508-conformant PDFs below) 

  • Attachment 1:  Summary of Key Features
  • Attachment 2:  Guidance on COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave
  • Attachment 3:  Template: Employee Notification and Leave Request Form
  • Attachment 4:  Template: Employee Agreement
  • Attachment 5:  Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 

Related Benefits Administration Letters (BALs) posted at 

  • BAL 21-102, “The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021—Emergency Paid Leave Effect on Retirement”
  • BAL 21-303, “COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave Reimbursement”