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Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut is open to serve you! Call 1-800-453-3320 or apply for legal help online. Are you having difficulty getting or keeping your health care? Tell us your story.

Information about COVID-19

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.

Read More: Abuse - If you are not safe at home during COVID-19

Court, Immigration, and Administrative Hearings

Status of State Courts

Most state courthouses and clerk’s offices have re-opened to the public. Check this list to find out which courthouses are open. If you have questions about the status of your case or about visiting the court in person:

Note: If you get court papers such as a Summons or a Notice of Suit that instruct you to file an Appearance and Answer with the court, you should file these forms as soon as possible. As of September 20, the court can issue a default judgment against you. A default judgment means that you lost the case without a trial because you didn’t file your Appearance and Answer. If you get a default judgment in an eviction case, the judge can then issue an Execution, which is an order that allows a marshal to physically evict you from your home. Learn more about evictions during COVID-19 crisis.

  • You can get the forms online or at the clerk’s office at the courthouse listed on the Summons or Notice of Suit. If you go to the courthouse, you must wear a mask and avoid bringing children or other people with you.
  • You can get help with filling out the forms at the clerk’s office. The Court Service Centers are also accepting emails.

  • If you have an email address, you can also sign up for a Judicial Branch e-services account and file the forms online. Note that this option requires multiple steps. If you’d like to file online, call the court and follow the instructions to speak with a court staff person, or email a Court Service Center staff person at Court.ServiceCenter@jud.ct.gov and ask them to explain how it works.

Note: If you have a remote hearing, call the clerk’s office and give them an email address where they can send you a link to your hearing. Do not assume that the hearing is not happening because the clerk’s office has not reached out to you. If you have questions about remote hearings, see this guide from the Judicial Branch.

Temporary Restraining Orders

You do not need to visit a courthouse to apply for a Temporary Restraining Order or Civil Protection Order. Learn more about applying for an order to protect you from abuse.

If you have very low income, you can apply for free legal assistance by calling Statewide Legal Services at 1-800-453-3320 or applying online.

Get more information about the Judicial Branch’s official COVID-19 updates.

  • Status of our federal trial court (“U.S. District Court – District of Connecticut”): Beginning June 16, 2020, individual judges will determine, after giving due consideration to the public health risks presented by in-court appearances, whether it is in the interests of justice to hold any non-jury civil or criminal proceeding in the courtroom. A judge presiding over a case may decide to hold a proceeding in the courtroom, to hold the proceeding over video or telephone, or to hold a hybrid proceeding in which the number of persons in the courtroom is limited while other persons participate or observe remotely via video or telephone. Read more...

  • The Hartford Immigration Court will resume hearings in non-detained cases on Monday, June 29, 2020. For the foreseeable future, no master calendar hearings are going forward at this time. Merit cases that had already been scheduled for June 29 or later will be going forward as scheduled, unless attorneys and/or respondents have been notified otherwise. Hearings that had been postponed due to COVID-19 will be rescheduled, and hearing notices are being sent out to notify attorneys and respondents of the new hearing dates.

  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is preparing to reopen some domestic offices and to resume non-emergency public services on or after June 4. For the latest information on the status of individual offices, check their office closures page.

DSS Benefits, Health Insurance, and More

Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Payments)

Congress has passed two stimulus payments. The first payment was issued during 2020. The second stimulus payment is being issued in early 2021. If you qualified for a stimulus payment but you didn’t get one, or you did not get a stimulus payment for your minor children, you can file a tax return this year and use the Recovery Rebate Credit to get your payments. Read more: Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Payments)

Food, SNAP, Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT)

Get information about Pandemic EBT. 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. More information is also on the State of Connecticut website.

People who get SNAP will be able to use their EBT card to buy eligible food items online for delivery or curbside pickup. Retailers approved for online SNAP purchasing include 27 ALDI stores (www.instacart.com/help/section/360009947632); Amazon, including Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh (www.amazon.com/snap-ebt); 12 Walmart stores (www.walmart.com/grocery); and 21 ShopRite stores (https://shoprite.com/Store-Locator).

See also: Frequently Asked Questions

Rent and Evictions During COVID-19

  • The Connecticut eviction moratorium has been extended to February 9, 2021.

  • What's New: The new director of the CDC has announced that the federal eviction moratorium will be extended until at least 3/31/21. A moratorium is a temporary halt on evictions. The CDC moratorium prevents landlords from evicting tenants for not paying rent, not paying other charges such as late fees, or because their lease ended.
  • Read about rent and evictions during the COVID-19 crisis, including what to do if you can't pay rent.

Immigration

School and Education

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: Can I request a waiver for an overpayment debt incurred during COVID-19?

  • 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

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

Utility Shutoffs

DMV: Driver's License and more

Internet Access

Lifeline is a federal program that lowers the monthly cost of phone and internet. Eligible customers will get up to $9.25 toward their bill. Learn more about Lifeline.

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. Also see Increased Access to Internet Coverage for Connecticut Residents and T-Mobile for Education.

Work and Employment

Health and Safety Checklist for Working During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) released guidelines for businesses that will be allowed to reopen during Phases 1 and 2 of the state’s reopening plan. If your employer is not following these standards, record which guidelines your employer is not following and make a report to the 2-1-1 hotline or your local health department. Read more: Health and Safety Checklist for Returning to Work

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. Read more: Questions and Answers about Unemployment during COVID-19

More reading:

Get Help From Legal Aid

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Under age 60: Find legal help or apply online.
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