157,811 essential workers received payments up to $1,000
(HARTFORD, CT) - Comptroller Sean Scanlon today announced that the Premium Pay program, also known as Hero Pay, has concluded after 157,811 essential workers received one-time payments up to $1,000.
"I, along with many others, am extremely grateful for our essential workers who were on the frontlines during the early days of the pandemic. They kept our grocery stores open, our hospitals operating, and our communities safe," said Comptroller Scanlon. "My office has been working diligently to administer this program—the first of its kind—and we are proud to have awarded more than 157,000 essential workers with payments. This is just one small way we can show our appreciation for all they do."
Originally approved by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2022 and administered by the Office of the State Comptroller, the Premium Pay program provided support to the critical workforce that helped keep the state operational during the pandemic. The application window closed on October 1, 2022. In November, applicants received emailed notification of their approval or were given the opportunity to address errors in their application through a reconsideration process.
Upon taking office in January, Comptroller Scanlon expedited the timeline for payments to go out from six to two weeks and extended the reconsideration window to March 1, 2023, rather than 20 days from the time they received an email informing them of the reconsideration process. Over the last four months, the Comptroller's office and Public Consulting Group have helped thousands of applicants correct errors in order to ensure their payments.
152,692 payments were sent in February and March. Over the next three days, 5,119 final payments will be sent to applicants who submitted an appeal after being notified of their initial decision prior to the March 1 deadline.
To have been eligible, workers must have:
- Worked as an essential worker in Connecticut for the entirety of the time period between March 10, 2020, and May 7, 2022.
- Not been able to work from home.
- Worked in a job categorized by the CDC as 1A or 1B.
- Worked in the private sector.
- Earned $149,999 or less.