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Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut is open to serve you! Call our legal aid hotline: 1-800-453-3320. You can also learn about our services and apply for legal help online. Stay on this page for links and resources about COVID-19.

Information about Coronavirus

Abuse - If you are not safe at home

CT Safe Connect’s domestic violence hotlines are open 24/7, and their staff can help you ask the court for a restraining order.

  • Call or text 1-888-774-2900.
  • Chat or email with staff at www.ctsafeconnect.com.
  • They can help you apply for a temporary restraining order.

Even though Connecticut courts are not hearing some types of cases now, you can still ask the court for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) or a Civil Protection Order (CPO).

Important things to know:

Although you may file for a temporary restraining order on your own, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV\ CT Safe Connect) is available to help you with your application. For assistance, contact CT Safe Connect at www.CTSafeConnect.org or call (888) 774-2900.

The courts are also processing criminal cases involving domestic violence.

If you have very low income, you can get legal help from Statewide Legal Services by calling 1-800-453-3320. You can also visit https://ctlawhelp.org/family/abuse.

Court, Immigration, and Administrative Hearings

Status of State Courts

Only a few state courthouses are open and their business hours are limited. You may only enter an open courthouse if you are

You can also file non-urgent court papers in lock boxes located in the lobbies of the operating Superior Court courthouses. Remember to include your contact information on all papers you put in the lock box. If you are submitting payment of a court fee payment or rent, use a check or money order and keep a record of the payment. 

Currently, the operating Superior Court courthouses will be open for the above business only on these days:

  • Mondays: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesdays: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Fridays: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Note: You do NOT need to visit a courthouse to apply for a Temporary Restraining Order or Civil Protection Order. Read this section to learn more about applying for one of these orders by email or fax

For all other family, housing (including evictions), small claims, and motor vehicle cases, please do not enter a courthouse. Instead, call the courthouse open in your area using the number listed on this document. You can also email questions to a Court Service Center staff person at Court.ServiceCenter@jud.ct.gov.

Is my hearing or trial still being held?
Hearings for restraining orders, protection orders, emergency Ex Parte motions (including motions in lockout cases and emergency temporary custody cases), and criminal arraignments for people in custody continue to be scheduled. Most other civil and criminal hearings and trials are not being held until further notice. 

  • No eviction hearings or trials are being held.
  • No eviction judgments (including default judgments) are being entered.
  • No previously issued eviction orders (called executions) can be served by state marshals until at least June 2, 2020.
  • No child support enforcement hearings are being held.

To check the status of your case, look up your case here.

I was served eviction court papers (called a summons and complaint) with an upcoming Return Date. Do I have to go to court?

No, you should not go to court to respond to these papers right now because the courts are only open for the emergency cases listed in the above bullet points. The courts will not allow you to enter to file your response to eviction papers. The courts have suspended the deadline to file your appearance for the duration of the public health emergency. You should plan to go to court to respond to eviction papers only after the governor declares that the public health emergency has ended, and the courts fully reopen. For more information about evictions during the COVID-19 crisis, read this article.

Note: Fines and fees for criminal and motor vehicle matters have been deferred until further notice, but all traffic tickets can still be paid online.
 
Read the Judicial Branch’s full notice on limiting entrance into state courthouses. Get more information about the Judicial Branch’s official COVID-19 updates.
 
If you have very low income and you need help with a legal problem, call Statewide Legal Services at 800-453-3320.

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended routine in-person services until at least May 3. USCIS staff will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public. However, USCIS will provide emergency services for limited situations. To schedule an emergency appointment, contact the USCIS Contact Center.

  • The Executive Office for Immigration: Get current info.

  • U.S. District Court: See the latest information on their website.

  • The Connecticut Department of Labor is holding telephone hearings. Instructions for registering are in English and Spanish.

 

DSS Benefits, health Insurance, and More

 

Economic impact payments (stimulus payments)

Note: This information is evolving quickly and we will try to update as needed. You can also visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/economic-impact-payments for more information.  Also, beware of scams! The IRS will not call or email you asking for your personal information!

Check on the status of your Economic Impact Payment

You will get a stimulus payment directly deposited in your bank account or direct express card starting April 17, 2020 if:
  • You get Social Security Retirement, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Railroad Retirement or Survivor Benefits, or Veteran’s Compensation and Pension Benefits;

OR

  • You filed or will file your 2018 and/or 2019 income tax returns with direct deposit information for your bank account;

AND

  • No one else claimed you as a dependent on their tax return.

Note: You will still get a check if you do not have direct deposit, but it may take longer.

Additionally, if you are not a citizen, you must be authorized to work in the United States and have a social security number.

Here are the income guidelines for the stimulus payments. If your gross income during the last year you filed your taxes was:

  • $75,000 or less and you are a single person, you will get $1,200.
  • $112,500 or less and you are head of household, you will get $1,200 plus $500 for each child aged 16 or under.
  • $150,000 or less and you are married filing jointly without children, you will get $2400.
  • $150,000 or less and you are married filing jointly with children, you will get $2,400 plus $500 for each child aged 16 or under.

Note: Your stimulus payment will be lower if you earn more than the amounts listed above.

You can still get a stimulus payment even if you do not receive social security or veteran’s benefits and you did not file a tax return. You can still file tax returns for 2018 and/or 2019 and get stimulus money – and you should! This includes

  • people with very low income (less than $12,200), and
  • people who do not otherwise owe taxes.

You can file a simple return at https://www.freefilefillableforms.com/#/fd/EconomicImpactPayment.

If you can get direct deposit, you will get money more quickly.

NOTE: If you have dependent children under age 17 and you get Social Security Retirement, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Railroad Retirement or Survivor Benefits, or Veteran’s Compensation and Pension Benefits, but did NOT file a simple return to get additional stimulus benefits for your dependents under age 17, you can still claim these additional benefits by filing a 2020 tax return in 2021.

You will not get a stimulus payment if:

  • You are non-citizen who is not authorized to work in the United States.
  • Someone else claimed you as a dependent on their tax return.
  • You have a child support arrearage that the State has reported to the Treasury.
  • You do not get any kind of Social Security and you do not file taxes for 2018 or 2019.
  • You are married to a non-citizen who does not have a Social Security Number and you filed a joint tax return.
  • You are over the income limits to receive the stimulus.

NOTE: Your stimulus payment does not count as income or a resource for any public benefit programs like TFA, Medicaid, or SNAP.  It also does not count as income in calculating rent for the state Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or any state funded housing. Both HUD and the Department of Housing have said that the stimulus payment and the extra $600 some people will be getting as unemployment will not be counted as income in calculating rent for federal public housing, Section 8, or any federally assisted housing.

Food, SNAP

  • The Connecticut Department of Education is working hard to make sure no student goes hungry while schools are closed. If your family relies on school meals, check with your local school district to see where they are setting up locations to eat or pick up food during school closures.
     
  • Dial 2-1-1 from anywhere in Connecticut to find out which food pantries are open.

Due to COVID-19, everyone who got SNAP in March, April or May should have received the full amount of SNAP for their household size for the months they were on SNAP.*

If you have children enrolled in school, you will get Pandemic EBT. This is an extra amount of money to use for food only. The amount will be equal to their school meals, which is $114 per month per child, retroactive to March 27. The total will be $364.80 per child, and you should get it in mid-May.

If you are already on SNAP, you will see this amount added to your card. If you have kids on HUSKY but not SNAP and they are able to get free or reduced lunch, you will get this amount on their HUSKY card.

If you are not on either SNAP or HUSKY, you will be getting EBT cards with this amount.  

Getting Pandemic EBT does not put you on SNAP. If you think you might qualify also for SNAP, which is an ongoing monthly program, go to the legal aid article, Do you need help paying for food? for information on how to apply.

The maximum benefit for SNAP is:

Household
size
Maximum
Benefit Amount
1 $194
2 $355
3 $509
4 $646
5 $768
6 $921
7 $1,018
8 $1,164

Each additional person: add $146

* If you already got the max for your household size, you will not get anything extra.

Health Information

If you got a notice from DSS or Access Health CT saying that your HUSKY Health coverage was ending in March 2020, or that you need to complete a renewal to extend your coverage past March or April, please disregard that notice. Your HUSKY Health coverage will be extended automatically through at least June 2020, as long as you are a Connecticut resident. DSS is automatically extending your coverage as part of the State of Connecticut's response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Special information and resources for HUSKY Health members

Yale/New Haven Hospital

Hartford HealthCare

Stamford Health

Information about COVID-19

Housing - Homes and Apartments

What if I can’t pay my April or May rent?

May rent:

Under the Governor’s order, you can get an additional two months to pay your May rent.To get the additional two months to pay your May rent, you must tell your landlord in writing (by email, text message, or letter) on or before the 9th day after it was due that you need this extension and explain that you cannot pay your May rent on time for a reason related to COVID-19. This means that if your monthly rent was due on May 1, 2020, you had until May 10, 2020 to notify your landlord.

April rent:

Under the Governor’s order, you have two extra months to pay your April 2020 rent.

Read more about rent and evictions during the COVID-19 crisis, including what to do if you can't pay May rent.

Information for Public Housing, Section 8, and Voucher/RAP Tenants

If someone in your household has lost work hours and/or income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can report the loss of income to your site manager or caseworker and ask to have your rent lowered.

How to apply for a rent adjustment

You will need to report your lost income and make your rent adjustment request in writing to your site manager or case worker.

  • You can enter your information into this online form, and it will create a letter for you to send to your site manager/caseworker. (Or if you are a participant in any Housing Authority of New Haven/ Elm City Communities program, you can use this HANH/ECC form to directly submit your request to HANH/ECC.)
  • You can also fill in this blank letter yourself and then email, mail, or hand-deliver the letter and proof of your change in income to your site manager’s/caseworker’s office.

If you can, please provide documents showing your change in income when you make the request. 

  • Examples include a paystub or a letter from your employer saying that your hours have been reduced or that you no longer have your job.
  • You can ask your employer for a copy of your paystubs or a letter, and you can use your cellphone to take screenshots of this paperwork in order to upload the documents to the online forms or to add them as attachments to your email.

If you do not have documents showing your change in income, you should still ask for the rent adjustment anyway. You can discuss with your case worker or property manager what documentation you will need and when you will be able to get it (or whether they can help get it by contacting your employer directly). You may be able to self-certify (sign a sworn statement) about your change in income and have the rent change processed until you can get the documents from your employer.

Remember to save your emails, and take pictures of any paperwork you mail or hand-deliver so you have a copy for your own records.

NOTE: Your stimulus payment does not count as income or a resource for any public benefit programs like TFA, Medicaid, or SNAP.  It also does not count as income in calculating rent for the state Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or any state funded housing.  In addition, both HUD and the Department of Housing have said that the stimulus payment and the extra $600 some people will be getting as unemployment will not be counted as income in calculating rent for federal public housing, Section 8, or any federally assisted housing.

Immigration

  • The Public Charge Rule and the COVID-19 Crisis
    This article answers common questions such as: If I use benefits during the COVID-19 crisis, will I be a public charge? Will receipt of stimulus funds under the CARES Act count against me for Public Charge? Will receiving unemployment insurance make me a public charge? Also see the legal aid article, Frequently Asked Questions About the Public Charge Rule.

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has suspended routine in-person services until at least May 4. USCIS staff will continue to perform duties that do not involve contact with the public. However, USCIS will provide emergency services for limited situations. To schedule an emergency appointment, contact the USCIS Contact Center.

  • USCIS encourages anyone with symptoms that resemble Coronavirus to get necessary medical treatment. Medical treatment or preventive services will not negatively affect any future Public Charge analysis. Read more...

School and Education

  • COVID-19 Education Hotline: (860) 786-6363
    Connecticut Legal Services has a new statewide hotline to answer your education-related questions. Call Now!

  • Questions and Answers About Education during the Coronavirus crisis: This article answers some commonly asked questions about education during the Coronavirus crisis, and includes information for parents of students who get special education services.

  • Legal Services Briefing on COVID-19 Education and School Issues

  • Delays in education are going to be inevitable. Families should consult their school district's website. Districts are putting distance learning into place as quickly as possible, but it may look different in each district. Children with disabilities who have 504 plans or IEPs may be especially impacted. Families without internet access may need to call their district for extra help with distance learning. Check your district's website for information about how to contact school staff for extra help. If this is unsatisfactory, consider calling your local legal aid office for help.

Social Security, Medicare

  • More information from the Social Security Administration: Social Security & Coronavirus Disease

  • Do you have an SSI or SSDI overpayment? Social Security says they are suspending collection of overpayments during the pandemic. See: What workloads is SSA not doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Avoiding SSA scams during COVID-19
    Federal Trade Commission

  • Medicare Part B will cover coronavirus testing if your doctor or other health care provider orders it and the test was performed on or after February 4, 2020. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) has also released some documents that may be of interest to people who get Medicare.

  • All local Social Security offices will be closed to the public for in-person service until further notice. Their online services are available. Local offices will continue to provide critical services over the phone. 

    If you are applying for Social Security or appealing a Social Security decision, keep any documentation you have of COVID-19 making it hard for you to apply/appeal for SSA benefits, and always ask for GOOD CAUSE if you appeal late. Keep a list of how many times, and how long each time, you stayed on the phone trying to connect with the local or national phone line. All forms and documentation should be sent to your local SSA office.

Taxes

The 2020 tax day deadline for both state and federal taxes has been moved from April 15 to July 15, 2020.

 

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Utilities, Phone, Internet, Driver's Licenses, and More

Utility Shutoffs

  • The State of CT Public Utilities Authority (PURA) has announced a utility shut-off moratorium for the duration of the Emergency Order declared by Governor Lamont on March 10, 2020, or until another time determined by PURA. If you are a residential customer of a public service company regulated by PURA, your utilities cannot be shut off until the Governor lifts the emergency order or until PURA says the moratorium is over. This is in addition to the winter shut-off moratorium, which ends in May. If your utilities are shut off during the emergency order, contact PURA to file a complaint. Read more...
     
  • The Metropolitan District (MDC) in Harford has pledged not to turn off water until further notice. Check their website for updates.

DMV: Driver's License and more

Internet Access

During the COVID-19 crisis, internet providers in Connecticut have been making efforts to help the state's residents get online and stay connected. Here are the packages and offers currently available in the state.

 

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Work and Employment

Can I get unemployment benefits if I am not working because of COVID-19?

Yes. You may be eligible if

  • your employer terminated you, furloughed you, or laid you off;
  • you are self-quarantining; or
  • you are the primary caregiver for children whose school is closed.

You should also apply for unemployment if you quit because the work conditions were creating an unreasonable risk to your health. In this case, you must have told your employer about the risky working conditions and your employer must not have done anything to fix the problem. Read more: Questions and Answers about Unemployment Benefits during the COVID-19 Crisis

You have been called back to work… Now what?

As businesses get loans to rehire workers and governments begin to loosen restrictions on business operations, workers across CT will face a hard dilemma about how to balance risks to their health and livelihood with employer requests that they return to work. If you decide not to return to work, it is possible that you could lose your Unemployment Compensation (UC) or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. This checklist identifies some issues that may help you decide whether or not you should return to work. Read more: Checklist for Returning to Work during the COVID-19 Crisis

I need to miss work because of COVID-19, but I don’t have paid leave time available. What can I do?

On April 1, 2020, a new law went into effect that requires some employers to give their employees paid leave for reasons related to COVID-19. This law will remain in place until December 31, 2020. If you work at a company with fewer than 500 employees, you can probably get paid sick leave. Read more: Understanding Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) during COVID-19

 

More reading:

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Under age 60: Find legal help or apply online.
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