x
Breaking News
More () »

Millions in COVID funds yet to be distributed to Connecticut workers

Only about $300,000 has been paid to eligible recipients.
Credit: FOX61

HARTFORD, Conn. — A $34 million state fund created by Connecticut lawmakers last year to provide financial help to qualified essential workers has remained mostly untouched, Comptroller Natalie Braswell said Thursday.

The program aims to help those who lost wages and faced out-of-pocket medical expenses and burial costs due to COVID-19.

RELATED: State office denies plan to permanently close maternity ward

To date, only about $300,000 has been paid to eligible recipients, prompting Braswell's office to extend the deadline for applications until December and step up efforts to get the word out about the Connecticut COVID-19 Essential Worker Assistance Fund.

“For us, we think that we need to do more outreach. We need to get more people to know that the program is available, how they apply for the program, what kind of documentation they need, how they apply, how they register,” she said during a state Capitol news conference. “And we’ve been doing a lot of that within the last couple of months.”

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

The fund is open to any essential Connecticut worker who didn't have the option to work remotely and who died or was unable to work because they contracted COVID-19 between March 10, 2020, and July 20, 2021. A family member or representative can apply for assistance on behalf of a deceased worker.

The term essential is defined as professions that received immunization priority by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

RELATED: Connecticut DPH announces first case of monkeypox in state

The essential worker fund is one of two COVID-related funds the state created to benefit eligible members of the public. Braswell said her office is in the process of setting up a new online portal for the state's $30 million premium pay, or “hero pay,” program for essential workers who didn't necessarily have to have contracted COVID in order to be eligible for the funds. She said that program should be up and running by the end of July or early August.

Meanwhile, Policy and Management Secretary Jeff Beckham said negotiations recently began with state employee union leaders to determine how to distribute a third pot of money to essential state workers.

---

Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com

----

HERE ARE MORE WAYS TO GET FOX61 NEWS

Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.

FOLLOW US ON TWITTERFACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out