The Remote Worker Grant Program was created by the Vermont Legislature to encourage professionals interested in moving to Vermont to make the leap.
If you are a remote worker — someone who performs the majority of their employment duties remotely from a home office or co-working space in Vermont — you may be eligible for this program.
This page contains everything you need to know about the program. Below you will find information about eligibility criteria and how to apply. Please read all the materials to determine whether you are eligible to apply.
The criteria outlined below will be used to determine eligibility for the Remote Worker Grant Program. Applicants must meet all criteria to be eligible.
- New remote worker must be an individual who is a full-time employee as defined by the employer and who receives a W-2 from their employer.
- New remote worker must become a full-time resident of Vermont on or after January 1, 2019.
- New remote worker must perform the majority of their employment duties remotely from a home office or co-working space in Vermont.
- New remote worker must have incurred qualifying remote worker expenses. “Qualifying Remote Worker Expenses” is defined as actual costs a new remote worker incurred for relocation to Vermont and/or one or more of the following that are necessary to perform their employment duties that are not already reimbursed by the employer: computer software or hardware, broadband access or upgrade, membership in a co-working or similar space.
- New remote workers may be eligible to receive a reimbursement grant upon receipt by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development of the Remote Worker Grant Program application with documentation supporting the qualifying expenses and proof of residency. Applications must be received complete and error free to be eligible.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications will be accepted until funds are depleted. UPDATE: As of January 6, 2020, the Remote Worker Grant Program awarded all of the funds allocated to it. Applications are not being accepted at this time, while the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Legislature evaluate the possibility of additional funding for the continuation of the program.
Remote Worker Grants are awarded on a first come, first served basis upon receipt of complete and error free applications. Subject to funding availability, applicants may receive up to $5,000 per year for up to two years. There is a limit of one Remote Worker Grant per household per year.
Learn more about the program’s outcomes in the Remote Worker Grant Program Annual Report.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is a remote worker?
A remote worker is someone who performs the majority of their employment duties from a home office or co-working space.
2. Who is eligible to apply?
An eligible remote worker is someone who:
- Is a full-time employee of a company; and
- Has moved to Vermont on or after January 1, 2019; and
- Performs the majority of their employment duties remotely from a home office or coworking space in Vermont; and
- Has incurred qualified remote worker expenses.
3. What if I move to Vermont and work for a Vermont company, but not as a remote worker?
You are not considered a remote worker if you do not perform the majority of your employment duties remotely from a home office or coworking space.
However, you may be eligible for a new program effective January 1, 2020: the New Worker Grant Program. This program will provide reimbursement for eligible expenses for workers who move to Vermont on or after January 1, 2020 to work full-time for an employer located in Vermont. Visit the ThinkVermont Relocate page for more information (https://thinkvermont.com/relocate/).
4. What if I do not receive a Form W-2, can I still apply?
No. The program is for those employees who receive a W-2 from their employer.
5. Can an applicant receive a grant before moving to Vermont?
No. Eligible applicants must have moved to Vermont on or after January 1, 2019 and provide documentation of qualified expenses incurred.
6. How does an applicant prove residency in Vermont?
To become eligible, applicants must provide the last four digits of their valid Vermont-issued drivers license or non-driver identification card, plus one of the following:
- Housing lease or contract
- Utility bill with service address listed
- Property tax bill
- Homeowner/renter insurance
7. How does the application process work?
The application process opened on January 1, 2019. The application has two parts: one for the Remote Worker (Part A) and one for the Employer (Part B). Applicants must submit the entire completed application (A+B) to become eligible for a grant. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the Employer section of the application to their employer and to submit the completed Employer section (B) with the Remote Worker section (A) as one complete application (A+B). You must also submit supporting documentation for verification of expenses claimed in the application and proof of residency to be eligible for a grant.
Once a complete, error-free application is received, the applicant will be asked to fill out a brief demographic survey and a W-9 (“Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification” form). Once the results of that survey and the complete and error-free W-9 are received, the applicant will receive notification of the status of their grant award, subject to funding availability, or instructions on future funding opportunities. When the applicant is notified that they will receive a grant award, they must sign and return a grant document. When the signed grant document form is returned, the award will be sent to the address provided on the application.
8. How much money can an applicant receive?
Applicants are eligible to receive reimbursement for the full amount of their qualifying expenses, up to the maximum amount of $5,000 per year for up to two years and subject to funds availability. There is a limit of one Remote Worker Grant per household per year. A new application must be submitted each year.
9. If someone submits an application for a grant, will that automatically qualify them for a grant the following year?
No. Remote workers must submit a new application for each year. Grants are first come, first served and subject to funds availability.
10. How is “first come, first served” applied?
There is a limited amount of funding for the Remote Worker Grant Program. Applicants that submit a complete, error-free application, the subsequent survey, and W-9 on or after January 1, 2019 are eligible to receive grants. Applicants whose applications are received and confirmed complete and eligible first will receive grants until all the funding allocated has been awarded.
11. What happens when the funding is gone?
Once all of the program funding has been awarded, no further grants will be awarded.
12. What are “qualified remote worker expenses”?
Qualified remote worker expenses are: relocation expenses, computer software or hardware, broadband access or upgrade, membership in a coworking or similar space. See questions 14 – 17 for more detailed descriptions of each type.
13. What supporting documentation do I need to submit as proof of qualified remote worker expenses?
Applicants must provide proof of expense and payment in their own name. Expenses not yet paid are not eligible for reimbursement.
14. What qualifies as “relocation expenses”?
“Relocation expenses” include the cost of hiring a moving company or renting moving equipment (including rental vehicle insurance fees), lease deposits, and the cost of moving supplies.
15. What qualifies as “computer software or hardware”?
“Computer software or hardware” refers to software or equipment directly related to the performance of employment duties. It can include software subscriptions or one-time downloads or packages. Equipment can include computers, printers, scanners, external drives, or other IT equipment directly related to performing employment duties.
16. What qualifies as “broadband access or upgrade”?
“Broadband access or upgrade” refers to the cost of connecting to the internet so that an employee can perform their work remotely. It can refer to a monthly subscription for internet access via a cable, DSL, or satellite connection. It can also include the cost of internet connectivity related equipment including routers and signal boosters. It does not include the cost of cable television or telephone service, which are often bundled in the monthly cost of internet access. It does not include the cost of cable television or telephone service related devices that also connect to the internet such as cable boxes or mobile phones.
17. What is a coworking space?
A coworking space is a shared location outside of the home ideal for remote workers and small business owners, that provides a flexible size, environment, and contract terms.
18. If my employer reimburses a portion of the costs for any eligible remote worker expenses, can I submit an application for the remaining eligible expenses?
Yes. An applicant can apply for any portion of qualified remote worker expenses that are not paid or reimbursed by their employer.
19. Can more than one person per household apply separately for the grant?
No. There can be only one grant awarded per household per year.
20. Are college students eligible for this program?
No. The Program is for people employed full-time who meet all the eligibility criteria. See question 2.
21. Does this program provide job placement or housing location services?
No. Applicants are responsible for obtaining their own employment and housing.
If you are looking for a job, a good place to start is the Find a Job page. This will direct you to some resources to help you start your search. If you are looking for specific guidance, you can contact the Vermont Department of Labor for assistance.
Here are some tools to help with relocating to Vermont:
22. If I have more questions, where can I find additional information?
COWORKING SPACES IN VERMONT
Coworking spaces give telecommuters and self-employed workers access to modern amenities, like printers, private offices and meeting rooms.
|VCET @BTV, Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies||Northwest||Burlington|
|Inspire Space @ Green Mountain Power||Northwest||Colchester|
|Main Street Studio||Northwest||Essex|
|The Space on Main||Northeast||Bradford|
|DO NORTH Coworking||Northeast||Lyndonville|
|The Work Commons||Northeast||Newport|
|Bethel Works @ The Arnold Block||Central||Bethel|
|The Stone Mill @Work||Central||Middlebury|
|Black River Innovation Campus||Southern||Springfield|
My wife and I moved to Vermont to be closer to family and to live in a place where we could be surrounded by nature. Because we both work remotely, fast Internet and cell service were non-negotiable. We were pleased to find that we could live in the mountains without sacrificing either. We've also found that our region has quite a few professional development and networking opportunities. Vermont has a lot to offer to the non-traditional tech professional.