A helpline is available to help people who need some assistance applying to the state’s "Hero Pay" program, which is aimed at providing up to $1,000 in pandemic pay for eligible, private-sector essential workers who were employed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While people who work in several fields are eligible, this program only applies to essential workers in categories 1A and 1B. Workers in category 1C, which includes restaurant workers, not currently eligible, according to the office of the state comptroller.
The comptroller’s office said the eligibility requirements for the program come from the law creating it, which lawmakers passed in the state budget, and that law opens the program only to essential workers in categories 1A and 1B.
While restaurant workers are not eligible for Premium Pay, they are eligible for the COVID-19 Relief Fund if they got COVID on the job and lost wages or had out-of-pocket medical expenses. See eligibility information here.
The comptroller’s office said the site has been up and running without any systemwide issues since it launched, but they are hearing from some people who require assistance.
They said most of them had gone to the site before it launched and received an error and are now returning to see the same error.
They advise anyone experiencing the issue to refresh the page, but said there is tech support for anyone who needs some help getting through it.
'Hero Pay' Helpline
You can call 833-660-2503 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Leave a voicemail if no one answers right away and you will get a call back.
You are eligible to apply if:
- You were employed as an essential worker in Connecticut between March 10, 2020 and May 7, 2022
- You were not able to work from home
- You were not employed by a federal, state or municipal government agency
- You earned $149,999 or less
A link is available on the Premium Pay Program website.
About the Program
More than 104,000 people have registered for the site so far and around 53,000 have at least started the application process for Premium Pay, according to the state comptroller's office. The state said around 26,000 have completed their application entirely, including submitting all documentation.
Each worker who applies needs to provide verification of identity that includes a Social Security or Tax ID number because the funds are taxable, and each recipient will receive a 1099 for the year they receive a payment. The information is then checked against state Department of Labor records that also verify income eligibility. Applicants must also complete an attestation that they are providing truthful and accurate information in accordance with state law.
How Payments are Calculated
- $1,000 if you earned less than $100,000
- $800 if you earned between $100,000 and $109,999
- $600 if you earned between $110,000 and $119,999
- $400 if you earned between $120,000 and $129,999
- $200 if you earned between $130,000 and $149,999
Note: If the amount in the Connecticut premium pay account is not sufficient to fully fund all approved applicants according to this formula, then all approved applicants' payments shall be reduced proportionally.
Payments will be made in early 2023 after submissions of all applications.
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