What is Think Vermont Remote Worker Grant Program?
The remote working lifestyle has been gaining popularity in recent years as companies and employees realize the potentials that it brings in terms of freedom and productivity.
While many remote workers decide to travel to exotic locations on other continents while moving every few months, not everyone is in a situation to do the same.
States and cities in the United States have realized the potential that remote workers represent in terms of growing their communities and improving the local economy while opening the doors to remote workers looking for a change in scenery.
Vermont is one of these states. With the creation of its Think Vermont Remote Worker Grant Program, Vermont opened the doors to remote workers to move to the state and see that the Green Mountain State is more than forested natural beauty.
The state offers a high quality of life, business opportunities, a thriving economy, historic relevance, a diverse community, and beautiful cities and countrysides.
If you are looking to move to a safe state that offers you an outdoor gateway why still experiencing the benefits of thriving cities, Vermont might be the place for you.
How does the Think Vermont Remote Worker Grant Program work?
The Think Vermont Remote Worker Grant Program was launched back in 2018 by Vermont’s legislature with the aim to incentivize remote workers to move to the state and be reimbursed for part of the expenses, facilitating their relocation.
If you are considering moving to a new location while working remotely for your currency company, this program could provide you with a grant of a maximum of $5000 per year for up to two years.
The program does not have any limitation in terms of your professional area, age as long as you are over 18 years old. Your race, religion, family status, or any other aspect will not result in you being unable to apply.
As the funding for the program is limited and depends on the decision of the local legislature, the grants are given on a first come first served basis, which means it is important for you to apply as soon as possible after funds are allocated, as well as making sure your application is in order.
Another important aspect of this grant is that it won’t be granted before you move to Vermont, as it requires you to have moved during the year the program is running and provide documentation proving the expenses resulting from the move.
Who can qualify?
If you are a professional who is currently a full-time employee of a company that allows you to work remotely and are thinking about moving to Vermont, you will qualify for the program once you complete your move during the year the program is running as long as there is funding available and you fulfill the requirements.
As the program is intended to help remote workers to pay for expenses they have incurred while relocating, the grant will only be granted if you did incur expenses that were not covered by your company.
While Vermont has been ranked as one of the best places to raise a family, only a maximum of 1 person per household can be given the grant per year, so you should keep this into consideration if you qualify.
What are the incentives?
The incentive for remote workers relocating under the Think Vermont Remote Worker Grant comes in the form of up to $5000 to be paid yearly for up to 2 years as reimbursement for qualifying remote worker expenses.
These fees will cover a lot of your expenses during the program, which we will discuss in the next section but you will still need to have extra money for other expenses.
Qualifying expenses remote worker expenses include:
Relocation expenses: Includes any cost resulting from the hiring of a company or renting of equipment, lease deposits, rental vehicle insurance fees, and cost of moving supplies.
Computer software or hardware expenses: Includes the cost of any software subscription or purchase, as well as the hardware required for you to perform your work duties remotely.
Broadband access or upgrade expenses: Includes both the cost of connecting to the internet through a subscription as well as the payment of the equipment required to do so. If you subscribe to a bundled service, only the internet service and its equipment will be covered.
Co-working space expenses: Includes the reimbursement of your subscription for a shared working space outside your home.
By providing proof of expense and payment of any of these expenses, you will be eligible to receive a reimbursement from the grant fund. This applies even if your employer paid for part of the expenses, in which case the fund will cover the rest.
The program does not include job placement services nor housing location services, as you should already have both at the time of applying for the grant.
What are the requirements?
The requirements to apply to the program are simple and chances are you already fulfill them if you are considering moving to Vermont or recently did:
Proof of full-time employment through a form W-2.
Completing the application process, which includes a personal part and one for your employer.
Documentation proving residency in Vermont by providing the last four digits of your valid Vermont-issued driver license or non-driver identification card, in addition to one of the following:
Having moved to Vermont during the period established by the program for the current funding round.
Proof of qualifying expenses incurred.
Perform the majority of your work duties from a coworking space or home office.
Not being a college student.
If you fulfill these requirements and match the qualifying profile the program is looking for, make sure to apply as Vermont might just be your next destination.
How long does it last?
The Think Vermont Remote Worker Grant Program doesn’t require participants to move to the state for a specific amount of time as is the case with other programs as you should already be in the state to apply and no money is given in advance.
However, if you take advantage of the program you will be able to receive reimbursements for a period of up to 2 years, with $5000 being reimbursed each period.
After your first year living in Vermont, you will have to reapply to the program before receiving further reimbursement for your expenses. Another thing to keep in mind is that no further reimbursements will be issued to participants if the program runs out of funding.
How do I apply?
Before applying for the Think Vermont Remote Worker Grant Program, you should already be living in Vermont during the period established for the current cycle of the program.
As a participant, you will be in charge of providing your employer with part B of the application as the program official won’t be able to assist you with that part of the process.
The application process for the program consists of two parts: One for your employer (B) and one for you (A). Both parts must be completed and submitted at the same time for them to be valid. You can apply here.
Once you have both parts of the application completed and is received with no errors, you will be given a brief demographic survey as well as a W-9 form (“Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification”).
After submission of this survey and the form, officials will contact you to provide you with information on the status of your application and funding availability.
If your grant is approved, you will be required to fill a grant document, which after being received back will already provide you with the award by sending it to the address registered in the application.
Now that you know what the program is all about, the requirements, and how the application process works, it’s time for you to decide if Vermont and the program are the right fit for you!
Maple syrup for all!