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Manitoba Front-Line Workers Can Apply for ‘Risk Payment’

June 2, 2020 3:09 PM | News

Coronavirus Test

A man gets tested at a COVID-19 testing clinic Thursday, May 14, 2020 in Montreal. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz)

WINNIPEG — Essential front-line workers can soon apply for an approximately $1,000 “risk payment” from the provincial and federal governments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Brian Pallister revealed further details Tuesday of the $120 million Manitoba Risk Recognition Program. Through consultations with 15 unions, business community leaders and critical service providers, a list of eligible organizations and positions was created to determine who can receive the payment.

“Based on their feedback, we will implement a program to recognize and thank workers who played a key role in our provincial pandemic response efforts and made sacrifices in their professional and personal lives to protect all Manitobans, especially those most vulnerable,” Pallister said.

Eligible categories include store shelf stockers, retail salespersons, cashiers, cooks, security guards, light-duty cleaners in retail facilities, early childhood educators, licensed home-based child-care providers, family violence shelter workers, social workers, nurses and nurse practitioners, paramedics, health-care aides, community services workers (including personal care homes, home care, public health, mental health and addictions), direct service workers for adults and children with disabilities, law enforcement (including Winnipeg Police Service, Brandon Police Service and RCMP), correctional officers, long-distance truck drivers and bus drivers.

Pallister says the exact dollar amount will be determined later, depending on how many people qualify, but he expects about 100,000 workers will get a one-time payment of about $1,000 in taxable income.

The payment is income-based, however, and will only be available to workers who have made less than $2,500 per month since the pandemic started.

Applications will open at noon Wednesday and close on June 18. If approved, payments will be delivered by the province through direct deposit.