Connecticut aims to launch Hero Pay for essential workers this Friday

Connecticut plans to pay up to $1,000 for essential worker jobs during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials hope to launch the so-called “Hero Pay” program later this week after the website was swamped with traffic during its soft launch last weekend.

More than 15,000 workers tried to sign up for Hero Pay over the weekend, officials said. State comptrollers have said the site needs to be tweaked before it goes fully live later this week. The goal is to start this Friday.

Officials say $30 million has been set aside in the state budget to pay up to $1,000 for many residents who had to work in person during the early days of COVID-19.

The state’s largest trade union federation says many workers are still struggling, even after taking personal tolls early in the pandemic, including being exposed to the virus.

But they say $30 million isn’t enough money for the premium pay program to deliver on all its promises.

Officials stress that payments are not on a first-come, first-served basis.

To qualify, workers must earn less than $150,000 annually.

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