Connecticut has an extensive number of public assistance programs for low income families. Services can help families pay their bills in an emergency, and help them provide for their basic needs. The Department of Social Services administers most of the programs.
Food stamps from the Connecticut EBT card and SNAP. Low income families can receive public food stamp benefits which will be kept in special accounts for you until they need to be used. The program is now known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and it is administered by the DSS. Most grocery stores and supermarkets will accept your EBT card, which is then used to buy food for you and your family. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps can help low-income individuals and families pay for the cost of food at a wide variety of stores and farmer markets across Connecticut.
In addition to SNAP food stamps, Connecticut also provides several other Nutrition Assistance Programs. These resources can provide free food and cash equivalents to low income, seniors, and the disabled. The primary goal is to ensure the health and promote adequate nutrition among the target populations, especially children and seniors. Through this program, meals and food is provided to eligible food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters, and these centers then distribute the food to the low income and needy. DSS has a listing of participating food banks and centers.
Connecticut Women Infants and Children (WIC), which is formally called Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, will help low-income infants, women, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk by providing education and nutritional assessment. In addition, referrals can also be provided for public health care, local food pantries, and nutritious foods to supplement diets.
Health care for the uninsured can be offered from Charter Oak. The State of Connecticut has offered free or low priced public health care coverage to uninsured adults. The resource that has provided this service is the Charter Oak Health Plan. The uninsured and many adults across Connecticut who are experiencing financial hardship can get assistance in paying their medical bills as well as non-group premiums on their own.
Connecticut’s other program for health insurance assistance is known as Outreach, Information and referral, Counseling, Eligibility Screening (CHOICES). This service provides information to people who are age 60 and older and persons with disabilities. CHOICES is a cooperative program of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services, as well as the Area Agencies on Aging.
Connecticut Aids Drug Assistance (CADAP) – Get help in paying for needed prescription drugs. Medications need to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the drugs need to be used to prolong the life of people with HIV infection or who have AIDS.
Connecticut Pre-Existing Condition Program - Residents who have been uninsured for six months and who have qualified, diagnosed medical conditions can get help with paying medical bills as well as comprehensive health benefits and medical care.
Senior citizens and people with disabilities can get assistance with paying for prescription medications from ConnPACE. Medications, insulin and insulin syringes, prescriptions for chronic conditions, and other items can be provided by ConnPACE. You need to be qualified for Medicare in order to get aid.
Uninsured Kids and Youth can get health coverage from HUSKY Healthcare. Full health insurance is offered for children and teenagers up to age 19, regardless of the applicant’s income, so the program is wide ranging. The Connecticut HUSKY medical program pays for doctor visits, prescriptions, medical bills, vision and dental care, and much more.
Medicaid is available in Connecticut from the Department of Social Services. The program is funded by public funds, and it can offer preventive and long term medical care for income eligible disabled, seniors, aged, or blind. Families with children can also qualify for public assistance. Payment for your bills will be made directly to your doctor or health care providers. Another similar service known as Medicaid for the Aged, Blind and Disabled is also offered.
Medicaid for Employees with Disabilities, or MED-Connect, can provide medical bill assistance and health care to employed individuals with disabilities. Some income guidelines need to be met, but in general an eligible person with a disability, even if they have a job, can qualify for MED-Connect.
Refugee Medical Assistance – Residents who are designated as refugees under Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations can get medical assistance. Services are available for families, individuals and children. Benefits are only offered as a last resort if someone can’t get help from any other public assistance or government programs.
The Senior Community Service Employment program (SCSEP) offers career counseling, employment services and job training opportunities to interested older persons and senior citizens wishing to remain in the workforce.
State of Connecticut Employment and Training – A number of services are offered to the public if someone is qualified. The various job programs help families and individuals find a job and importantly become self-sufficient over the midterm.
Safety Net Services – Can offer basic needs such as clothing, food, rent help, shelter and also counseling. The goal is to help remove barriers to employment for those that have exhausted their 21-months of cash and public assistance from Temporary Family Assistance.
State Administered General Assistance (SAGA) – Gives help to adults without children who are unable to work for medical reasons. The medical program also helps low to moderate income families who are not eligible for other government or public assistance programs.
Temporary Family Assistance (TFA)/Jobs First – Offers cash assistance to pay for basic and special needs and bills. Cash is paid out to recipients of Jobs First.
Welfare Reform - Employment Services –The Department of Labor provides Jobs First Employment Services. Various services are designed to rapidly move recipients of Temporary Family Assistance into a job and move people toward self-sufficiency.
Connecticut Energy Assistance Program – Can provide grants and financial assistance for paying all types of utility bills, including heating, electric, oil, and more. Both renters and homeowners can apply. Cash grants, disconnection prevention, and other financial aid is provided by the energy bill assistance program.
Connecticut Weatherization Assistance Program – Low income persons can get assistance to help them reduce energy related costs and expenses. For examples, homes and apartments can save money from energy conservation measures such as having homes updated homes through retrofits and home improvement measures such as windows, insulation, and more.
Care 4 Kids - Child care is made more affordable by the Department of Social Services for low to moderate income families in Connecticut through this combination of private and public program. Public funding can pay a portion of your total costs. More on Connecticut child care programs.
Aging Services – Provides access and information on supportive services to seniors. Everything that is necessary to live with dignity, security, and independence is offered as part of this information and referral service.
Medicare Savings Programs – Connecticut funded programs may help pay Medicare Part B premiums, deductibles, bills and co-insurance costs of Medicare enrollees.
Beyond Shelter Program – People who are moving from transitional housing or living programs may benefit from this resource. Counseling and financial assistance can be offered to achieve housing stability by providing money for rent, deposits, and other housing aid.
Connecticut Eviction Prevention Program – Both homeowners and renters can benefit. Assistance is offered to prevent foreclosures and evictions through services such as foreclosure mediation, landlord tenant consultations and a Rent Bank. A total of twelve community-based agencies participate in the program. A trained mediator that is paid for by public funds acts as a third party facilitator to help develop solutions to identified problems which may include back mortgage or rent payments, repairs, foreclosures, housing code violations and communication problems. Financial aid is offered too, as the Rent Bank can provide grants and funds to eligible families to help pay rent or mortgage arrears stop the eviction or foreclosure.
Homeshare Program - Single adults who are having difficulty paying their rent or maintaining their homes and/or don’t want to live alone may be able to share a home or apartment. The state will help facilitate this process, and people may be able to share a home with another single adult who needs affordable housing as well. More.
Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS – Resources offered include Supported Living programs, Emergency Shelter, Transitional Living, and Independent Living. Case management is also offered. Services are for people with HIV/AIDS who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Services and resources provided are designed to increase the client’s stability and to provide case management services as well as information and referrals to public assistance programs.
Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program – This is the federal governments primary housing and rent assistance program for low income families. Helps clients pay for safe, decent and sanitary housing in the private market. People can use funds to pay rent in townhomes, apartments, or other government approved housing units. There is usually a waiting list.
Transitional Living Program – Short term housing is provided by the Connecticut Department of Social Services. In addition, social workers offer intensive support services and advice including case management services, referrals to rental programs, and other activities, to assist clients in moving into permanent housing and gaining self-sufficiency.
Rental Assistance Program – This is Connecticut’s main state-funded housing program for assisting very-low-income families to pay their housing expenses.
Security Deposit Program – Available for qualified low income household. The state of Connecticut Security Deposit Guarantee Program provides a guarantee and cash assistance to landlords for a security deposit equivalent to two months of rent.
Transitionary Rental Assistance Program – Part of the above mentioned safety net services. The purpose of the housing program is to help families leaving Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) pay their rent and really afford privately owned rental housing. The primary objective is to help people transition from welfare to work. The public program offers at most one year of housing/rent assistance.
The number of programs offered to residents is extensive. Even if you don’t qualify, the Connecticut Department of Social Services may be able to provide referrals or other advice. Call the government agency at 1-800-842-1508 for information or to apply. Programs are also offered in towns and counties.
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