Manitoba

Front-line worker who can't afford computer unable to apply for risk recognition payment

Ron Eldridge's happiness at learning about the "hero pay" that would relieve some of the stress at home soon faded. The Portage la Prairie man discovered he needed to apply for the payment by computer.

Ron Eldridge was told that without a computer, he wouldn't get the extra pay

Ron Eldridge was told by officials that he can only apply for the 'hero pay' by filling in online forms by computer. He says he can’t afford a computer because he is working less at his gas station job to care for his sick wife. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

Ron Eldridge was pumping gas at work when the 59-year-old's boss told him about a government risk recognition program to reward Manitoba's front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His happiness at learning about the "hero pay" that would relieve some of the stress at home soon faded. The Portage la Prairie man discovered he needed to apply for the payment by computer.

"I thought it was a good idea, but my boss gave me a number to call because my wife and I are basically seniors and we can't afford computers, internet and that stuff," Eldridge said. "The government said 'if you can't get a computer to apply, then I guess you don't get it.'"

The province announced on Wednesday 78,442 people will receive the $1,377 payment from the program. The application was available online on all government portals, it said.

Read more from the Winnipeg Free Press by clicking here.

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