First $1,000 Back to Work CT Bonus Payments Go Out This Week

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NBC News

The first $1,000 bonus payments are going out this week to people who took advantage of the state's Back to Work CT program.

The payments will be mailed out to more than 1,500 eligible applicants.

The Back to Work CT program was created in May in an effort to get people who have been unemployed for a long period of time during the pandemic to begin looking for jobs again. Connecticut is ending the extra $300 in unemployment benefits on September 7.

"Everywhere that I go, I hear people are just looking for employees they want people to come back to work," DRS Commissioner Mark Boughton said.

Money for the payments is part of the federal funding provided to Connecticut through the CARES Act.

In all, approximately $10 million has been allocated for the program. The bonus payments will be available for up to 10,000 eligible applicants.

Boughton said that as of Tuesday the department has received 7,023 applicants and mailed out 1,506 checks.

“We think it’s a valuable program, it’ll probably last until about mid-November with the money that we have allocated for it," Boughton said.

"Many workers who were displaced during the early months in the pandemic and faced long-term unemployment are now transitioning back into the workforce and starting to rebuild,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “This one-time bonus payment will help some of those workers pay for the critical things they need to get back to work, including childcare. This is the latest tool in our toolbox to maximize our state’s recovery from the pandemic.”

Local officials are warning jobseekers that extended federal unemployment benefits are set to expire next month.

To be eligible for a Back to Work CT incentive payment, a person must:

  • Have filed an unemployment compensation weekly claim with the State of Connecticut for the week May 23-29, 2021;
  • Have filed an unemployment compensation weekly claim with the State of Connecticut for 11 additional weeks between December 27, 2020, and May 22, 2021;
  • Obtain and maintain a full-time job for eight consecutive weeks between May 30 and December 31, 2021; and
  • Not file an unemployment compensation weekly claim with the State of Connecticut for any portion of the required eight consecutive weeks of employment.

To claim the $1,000 bonus payment, unemployed residents who meet the criteria must submit the Back to Work CT program application electronically. No paper applications are accepted. You can find the electronic application form here.

The Department of Revenue Services may contact applicants after the eight consecutive weeks of employment to verify that employment.

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