HARTFORD —  Gov. Ned Lamont has announced that the first round of the $1,000 bonus payments authorized through the Back to Work CT program are being mailed this week to more than 1,500 eligible applicants who are among the initial group of workers participating in the program.

Established by Gov. Lamont in May, the Back to Work CT program is designed to provide an additional bonus payment to long-term unemployed workers who live in Connecticut, are transitioning back to the workforce and have obtained new jobs.

It is supported by the state’d Coronavirus Relief Fund, which uses federal funding obtained through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Approximately $10 million has been allocated for the program, which will provide bonus payments for up to 10,000 eligible applicants. It is administered by the state Department of Revenue Services in conjunction with the state Department of Labor and runs through December 31.

“Many workers who were displaced during the early months in the pandemic and faced long-term unemployment are now transitioning back into the workforce and starting to rebuild,” Gov. Lamont said. “This one-time bonus payment will help some of those workers pay for the critical things they need to get back to work, including childcare. This is the latest tool in our toolbox to maximize our state’s recovery from the pandemic.”

“Governor Lamont’s relentless focus on health, safety, and economic recovery has made Connecticut a national leader in our response to Covid-19, and the Back to Work CT program represents another timely investment in our people,” state Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Mark D. Boughton said.

“I want to recognize colleagues at DRS for quickly standing up the Back to Work CT program, and thank the [state] Department of Labor for their ongoing partnership. The DRS is proud to contribute to this effort that directs additional support to those helping to sustain Connecticut’s comeback.”

“This is a job seeker’s market. It’s a great time for people to get back into the workforce and take advantage of opportunities to improve salary and benefits, or even start a new career,” [state] Department of Labor Interim Commissioner Danté Bartolomeo said.

“Women were hit particularly hard by the pandemic recession in terms of lost jobs and lost income. At the same time, women remain primary caretakers for their families, making it difficult for them to re-enter the workforce early due to childcare and other responsibilities, which leads to additional lost income. The governor’s Back to Work CT incentive is a great added bonus for people who really need that financial help during the back-to-work transition. 

To be eligible for a Back to Work CT incentive payment, a person must: Have filed an unemployment compensation weekly claim with the state for the week May 23-29, 2021; have filed an unemployment compensation weekly claim with the state for 11 additional weeks between December 27, 2020, and May 22, 2021;

Obtain and maintain a full-time job for eight consecutive weeks between May 30 and December 31, 2021, and not file an unemployment compensation weekly claim with the state for any portion of the required eight consecutive weeks of employment.

To claim a $1,000 incentive payment, a person is required to complete and submit the Back to Work CT program application electronically – no paper applications are accepted. 

The Department of Revenue Services may contact an applicant directly to substantiate his or her employment following completion of the required eight consecutive weeks of employment.

The Back to Work CT application, and additional information about the program, can be found on the Department of Revenue Services website at ct.gov/drs.

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