HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Earlier this year, the state promised $1,000 bonuses to essential workers who worked on the front lines in the private sector during the pandemic but some residents are running into issues while applying for them.
The state Comptroller announced there’s nearly a $300 million surplus at the end of this fiscal year but shared that there might not be enough money for pandemic bonuses for the frontline workers.
Kelly Foy, a Child Life Specialist at Connecticut Children’s Hospital who worked with children and their families during the pandemic said she is running into issues with the pandemic bonus system.
“I waited a little bit because I heard there was a lot of crashing of the portal that first day,” said Foy. “We were here the whole time, taking care of patients and families on the front lines, especially when we didn’t know a lot about what was going on with the pandemic there wasn’t a vaccine. It was nice to have that recognition.”
There are a lot of people to be recognized for their work and who are eligible for that $1,000 pandemic bonus. The latest numbers show that 261,000 people have registered for pandemic bonuses and 112,000 have completed the application.
The current numbers show the state will need to give $112,000 in bonuses so far but the state only planned for $30 million in the budget.
“We are doing the best we can, and we know the state is doing the best they can, at the end of the day though we are here for the patients and their families and that’s the most important part of it. As far as I am concerned, we have to get as close to $1000 as possible that’s the promise that we made to the workers and we should keep it,” said Rep. Sean Scanlon (D) Branford 98th District.
Sean Scanlan and his Chair of the Finance Committee are running for Comptroller. He says there has to be a way to try and make the bonuses work.
“There is room in the budget and the rainy day fund all options should be on the table, but we have to get the final number first,” said Scanlan.
Those who wish to apply for the state’s bonuses have until October 1 and can do so by clicking here.
State leaders and lawmakers that News 8 spoke with said they are waiting to see how many people apply for the pandemic bonuses before they share the next steps.