Most Connecticut residents have seen less money in their paychecks in 2021. That’s because it's been going into the state paid family leave trust. Wednesday was the first day you can apply to benefit from the program.
“It’s under budget, it’s ahead of schedule and that doesn’t always happen in government,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.
Lamont announced that the program is now accepting applications for up to 12 weeks of paid leave.
“I love it because it’s important for Connecticut and employers as well. I want to be the most family-friendly state in the country,” Lamont said.
“This program had some naysayers, but it’s launching on time, and under budget and it currently has 123,735 registered businesses with over $300 million in contributions,” Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said.
House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora said the fear is the claims for benefits will exceed the amount of money paid into the fund.
“It’s premature to embark on a victory lap before the anticipated ‘onslaught’ of applications described recently by the chief executive officer or before a single claim is even paid out,” Candelora said.
As of noon nearly 500 people had called and filed 183 claims.
“There are five ways to apply. They are online, by phone, by fax, by email and by u.S. Mail because the one thing we wanted to do is make sure that everyone who is paying for it had an accessible way to apply for their benefits,” Andrea Barton Reeves, executive director of the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority, said.
Connecticut is only the eighth state in the nation to enact a paid family and medical leave program.
“This is a blessing. This is a wonderful day for children, this is a wonderful day for families, this is a wonderful day for America,” Claire Criscuolo of Claire’s Corner Copia said.
Criscuolo said she no longer has to worry about managing her own paid leave system because the state is now doing it through a payroll deduction.
“Regular businesses like me try to do the right thing. It’s difficult to pay people for staying home when they need to. We’ve done it and it’s been really hard,” Criscuolo said.