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'Hero Pay' checks will go out faster for 150,000 essential workers

"Hero Pay" bonuses will go out several weeks faster, Connecticut’s new state comptroller announced Tuesday.

John Craven

Jan 31, 2023, 10:25 PM

Updated 505 days ago

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There's good news for essential employees who worked in person during the height of COVID-19. "Hero Pay" bonuses will go out several weeks faster, Connecticut’s new state comptroller announced Tuesday.
"Instead of all those payments going out over the course of the next six weeks, we are actually going to get them out to people in the next two weeks,” said Comptroller Sean Scanlon.
Scanlon made the announcement at Amazon’s massive fulfillment center in North Haven, which actually brought on more in-person workers during the pandemic.
"As people were staying home and not working, they were ordering more online,” said North Haven First Selectman Mike Freda. "They were an engine to ensure that the economy was still moving along at a time when this pandemic was in the worst part of the pandemic."
Payments to approximately 150,000 grocery, health care and other essential workers begin Wednesday, but not everyone qualifies. Employees must have worked in person between March 2020 and May 2022, in a job classified as “1A” or “1B” under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine priority list. Critics charged that left many workers out.
Despite limiting who’s eligible, the Premium Pay program was still severely underfunded. State lawmakers recently added $75 million and changed the rules to help the lowest income workers most.
Under the new rules, anyone who earned up to $50,000 will get the full $1,000 bonus. Amounts go down from there, capping at $100 bonus for those with a $150,000 per year salary.
Scanlon said he’s open to another round of bonuses if state lawmakers approve them. But for now, he’s focused on getting payments out quickly.
"When people weren't able to go out of their house, when they were worried about getting coronavirus, this operation never stopped,” he said.
Only workers who elected to receive a direct deposit will get their money this month. Scanlon said about 35,000 physical paper checks will still take until March.
If you are having problems getting your Hero Pay, Scanlon said to email him directly and he'll try to sort it out for you.


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