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Connecticut’s state run paid family and medical leave program starts taking applications

baby doll and crib
Ronit Bhattacharjee

Connecticut began accepting applications for its new state-run paid family and medical leave program on Wednesday. Those approved would receive benefits in January.

The program makes Connecticut the most family friendly state in the nation, said Governor Lamont.

It means a lot of young people are going to want to come to the state because of the services that we provide. It means that young moms and young dads don't have to decide between a sick child or a sick parent and a paycheck so they can keep food on the table. I think it's the right thing to do and I think it's the smart thing to do,” he said.

About 500 applications had already been received halfway through the first day, according to the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority created to administer the program. She said they anticipated a high number of applications.

“We knew we’d get about 1,000 to 1,500 people applying daily for benefits. And we knew that it would start at the beginning much higher and level off. But we are about where we thought we would be today,” said agency CEO Andrea Barton Reeves.

By January about $400 million will have been raised through yearlong worker payroll deductions, she said. That’s enough money to keep the program solvent for the next five years, said Reeves.

Eligible workers could receive up to 12 weeks of income replacement.

They can apply online at ctpaidleave.org.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.