NEW RELIEF PROGRAM AVAILABLE FOR CONNECTICUT ESSENTIAL WORKERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Eligible essential workers can apply for benefits to cover lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses and burial expenses. The application portal is now open at www.CTEssentialWorkerRelief.org.

“Frontline workers made immense sacrifices to keep our state functioning during the pandemic,” said Comptroller Natalie Braswell. “This relief program represents an opportunity to return the favor, offering critical financial assistance to workers who contracted COVID-19. I encourage every eligible worker to apply as soon as possible so we can get them the relief they deserve.”

“Essential workers are the backbone of Connecticut’s economy and the heroes of our pandemic response efforts,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “One of my early emergency orders strengthened their workers compensation claims, and we all worked hard to keep them safe through a safety-first and science-driven reopening plan designed with the help of partners in organized labor. But no plan is perfect, and this new, streamlined program provides financial relief to essential workers who had to miss paychecks or pay for medical care due to COVID-19. I’m grateful to Senator Kushner and Representative Porter for championing this effort, the Office of the State Comptroller for implementing it on the double, and of course all of the health care professionals, grocery store clerks, and other essential workers who performed their vital roles during the earliest and darkest stages of this public health crisis and took the time to tell me about the difficulties they were facing.”

The program assists with:

  • Lost Wages – Unpaid leave and lost wages if an employee was unable to work after contracting COVID-19, or due to symptoms later diagnosed as COVID-19.
  • Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses – For medical services related to contracting COVID-19 that were not covered by insurance.
  • Burial Expenses – Burial/funeral expenses of $3,000 for an eligible essential worker who died from COVID-19.

Eligible essential workers can apply for reimbursement of lost wages, out-of-pocket medical expenses, or both. Families can apply for any combination of the three benefits on behalf of a qualified essential worker who died after contracting COVID-19.

“We posted signs of thanks, called essential workers ‘heroes’ – I’m sure it was appreciated, but it simply wasn’t enough,” said Sen. Julie Kushner. “I hope the word will spread across the state, apply now – no essential worker who caught the virus should have had unpaid medical bills or should have lost time from work without pay. We are finally going to offer some small measure of relief – every essential worker deserves much more, but this is good start.”

“Today really is an awesome and long-awaited day!” said Rep. Robyn Porter.  “We’ve been working hard to provide our essential workers the financial assistance they deserve; especially seeing their continued sacrifices to keep this state open for business. A special THANK YOU to Comptroller Lembo for his unwavering commitment in getting this over the finish line!”

“This program will potentially help thousands of essential workers – hospital workers, first responders, grocery store workers, bus drivers, corrections employees and many others – who contracted COVID-19 on the job through no fault of their own,” said Ed Hawthorne, Connecticut AFL-CIO President.

The Office of the State Comptroller will administer the program and has engaged Public Consulting Group (PCG) to assist with claim processing and payments.

“To make the process easy we have created a website, CTEssentialWorkerRelief.org, that provides FAQs about the program, a pre-screening questionnaire to check eligibility, and a direct link to the ‘My Account’ application portal where workers can apply for benefits,” said Jim Waldinger, Manager, PCG Health.

The program can distribute up to $34 million on a first-come, first-served basis through June 30, 2024, or until the fund is depleted. Applications will be accepted through July 20, 2022. 

To learn more or to apply visit www.CTEssentialWorkerRelief.org.

Contact:
Tyler Van Buren
[email protected]
(860) 702-3325

SOURCE Connecticut State Comptroller

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