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Connecticut's new Premium Pay program launched

 Connecticut's new “Premium Pay” program that will provide payments up to $1,000 for eligible essential workers has now officially launched.

Workers can check their eligibility and apply for the program at CTEssentialWorkerRelief.org. Demand is expected to be significant. An unannounced soft launch of the website has drawn over 47,000 registrations. However, the program is not first-come, first-served and workers have until October 1st, to complete their application.

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.
Worked in the private sector. This program is not available to federal, state or municipal essential workers.
Earned $149,999 or less.

A total of $30 million was allocated for the program in the 2022 state budget. Final payment calculations will occur with funds expected to be distributed in early 2023. 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.

The “Premium Pay” application is on the same website as the existing COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund, which launched in January 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.

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