Governor Ned Lamont announced that as Connecticut continues to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, he is creating the Back to Work CT program, which will provide a one-time $1,000 bonus payment to 10,000 long-term unemployed people who live in Connecticut and obtain new jobs. The program is designed to encouraged long-term unemployed individuals to find work.
Although Connecticut’s economy added 17,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2021 and the pace of the recovery is accelerating as the pandemic subsides, many residents who lost their jobs during COVID-19 are still struggling to find good-paying work appropriate to their skills and their families’ needs. The Lamont administration has made it possible for jobseekers to access vaccines, affordable childcare, workforce development opportunities, and a fair minimum wage. This new program will complement those efforts by encouraging those who’ve been out of work the longest to find employment and helping them cover the costs of searching for and starting a new job.
To be eligible, workers must:
- Have filed an unemployment claim with the State of Connecticut for the week immediately prior to May 30, 2021;
- Obtain and maintain a full-time job for a period of eight consecutive weeks prior to December 31, 2021; and
- Not receive unemployment compensation during the required eight-week period of employment.
The program is being administered by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services. In the coming days, the department will create a form on its website for individuals to apply. The first applications will be accepted eight weeks from the start date of the program. Workers will be eligible to receive only one incentive payment.
The program will be supported by Connecticut’s Coronavirus Relief Fund, which utilizes federal funding obtained through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT).
At the end of the month, the Connecticut Department of Labor will also reinstate work search requirements for UI recipients and pre-pandemic guidance on what constitutes suitable work. Work search requirements were waived last year, pursuant to federal law, when jobs were scarce and job searches were especially difficult. Twenty-nine states have reinstated those requirements.
The Department of Revenue Service website is available at ct.gov/drs. Application forms for the Back to Work CT program will be available on that website in the coming days