Comptroller Natalie Braswell on Friday encouraged all eligible essential workers to submit their applications for the state’s “Premium Pay” program before the Oct. 1 deadline.
The program will provide payments up to $1,000 to Connecticut essential workers who meet eligibility criteria established by state law. The program is not first-come, first-served. All applications received prior to the deadline will be treated equally. To apply, workers should visit CTEssentialWorkerRelief.org.
“There has been incredible enthusiasm for this program, with over 150,000 applications already received,” said Braswell. “However, there is still time to apply for this financial relief. These workers were on the frontlines during the worst of the pandemic, making tremendous personal sacrifices on our behalf. I encourage every eligible worker to apply for the funds they’ve earned and deserve before the Oct. 1 deadline.”
To be eligible for the “Premium Pay” program, workers must have:
- Worked as an essential worker in Connecticut between March 10, 2020, and May 7, 2022.
- Been unable to work from home.
- Worked in a job categorized by the CDC as 1A or 1B. (Click to view list)
- Worked in the private sector. This program is not available to federal, state or municipal essential workers.
- Earned $149,999 or less.
As of the end of day Thursday, over 154,000 applications have been completed. All applications will be reviewed and evaluated after every worker has been given an opportunity to apply. Final payment calculations will then occur with funds expected to be distributed in early 2023.
A total of $30 million was allocated for the program in the 2022 state budget. If the number of applicants exceeds available funding, each payment will be reduced proportionally.
Full-time essential workers making less than $100,000 per year are eligible for payments up to $1,000. The payment amounts gradually decrease for workers earning more. No one who earned $150,000 or more is eligible. Part-time workers who qualify can receive up to $500.
Workers applying for “Premium Pay” can also apply for the COVID-19 Relief Fund using the same web portal. This fund, which launched in Jan. 2022 and is also administered by the comptroller’s office, provides financial relief to essential workers who contracted COVID-19 during the onset of the pandemic and suffered lost wages or out-of-pocket medical costs as a result. There is also burial assistance available for the families of essential workers who died from COVID-19.
To learn more about either program, or to apply, please visit CTEssentialWorkerRelief.org.
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