These programs are for people who are homeless or who have low or no income and need assistance with living expenses. If you qualify for one program, you may also qualify for others.
For most of these programs, you must apply to the Department of Social Services (DSS).
If you already get DSS benefits, check your account at https://www.connect.ct.gov to see what benefits you are getting now.
You can apply for DSS benefits online at http://www.ct.gov/dss or by calling 1-855-626-6632. Mail your completed application to DSS or drop it off at your local office.
DSS ConneCT Scanning Center
PO Box 1320, Manchester, CT 06045
Call 2-1-1 to get the local DSS address.
If you cannot work and you do not have children at home, you could get about $200 a month in SAGA cash. Ask DSS for an application form and also for the SAGA medical forms. You will need to ask your doctor or mental health professional to fill out the medical form.
If you cannot work and you have children at home, a family of three could get about $570 a month in TFA cash assistance.
To learn more about cash assistance, see Cash Assistance for Families.
If you are getting DSS emergency housing and cash assistance, ask DSS if you can get help with
SNAP helps pay for food. If you have no income, or if your income is less than your rent and utilities, you should qualify within seven days of applying. See above for information about how to apply.
You will usually need a phone interview to qualify, so it is important to have a phone where you can be reached. Call DSS at 855-626-6632 if you don’t hear from them in two weeks.
You may qualify for free or low-cost health insurance with one of these programs:
Apply for one of these programs at www.ct.gov/dss, or by calling 1-855-805-4325.
SSI and Social Security Disability are federal programs that help people who cannot work because of a disability. You are eligible if your disability
You will qualify if you have:
To learn more about Disability and SSI, see our booklet, SSI and Social Security Disability.
NOTE: It can take over a year to qualify for disability benefits. You should apply for SAGA or TFA in the meantime.
If you are disabled or over age 65, you may also be eligible for
If you have a disability that makes it hard to do something DSS asks, ask your DSS worker for help. Explain your disability and tell your worker what kind of help you need.
You can ask
What if DSS doesn't give me the benefits I asked for?
If DSS says you cannot get benefits or you can't get all the benefits you asked for, ask for a hearing. You must do this within 60 days of when they denied you. You can also talk to a DSS supervisor about your situation.
Remember: Keep a copy of everything you give to DSS.
Sample Appeal Letter
TO: DSS, Office of Administrative Hearings
55 Farmington Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105
From: [Your Name, Address, and DSS Client Number]
[Put your reason here, for example]:
I want a fair hearing because my worker thinks I did not have good cause to leave my job, but I disagree.
You should get your decision within 90 days of when you asked for the hearing.
Statewide Legal Services can give you free legal advice. Call 800-453-3320 or 860-344-0380 to ask for help with your hearing.
If you have low income, there are a few energy assistance programs that could help you, including
To find out where to apply, contact 2-1-1, your local community action agency, or the Connecticut Energy Assistance program at 800-842-1132 or www.ct.gov/staywarm.
If you are in treatment for a drug, alcohol, or mental health problem, this program can help pay for emergency needs such as food, transportation, and housing.
Ask your substance abuse or mental health treatment provider to apply for you by calling DMHAS at 800-658-4472.
If you get cash assistance from DSS and become homeless, you can get up to 60 days of emergency housing once a year.
To apply, contact your DSS worker within 45 days of when you became homeless.
You can also call 2-1-1 to ask about
DSS has a program that may help you pay your security deposit in limited situations. Ask your DSS worker how to apply.
If you have low income, you could get a free mobile phone with free minutes. To apply, visit www.safelinkwireless.com or call 800-SAFELINK (800-723-3465). Say you want to apply for Lifeline Phone Service.
The Connecticut Department of Labor website helps people find jobs. Visit them online at www.connecticut.us.jobs or call 2-1-1 to find out more.
If your family has low to moderate income and you need child care to work, Care for Kids could pay for some or all of your child care costs. To apply, visit www.ctcare4kids.com or call 888-214-KIDS (888-214-5437).
If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for additional help including
Call 2-1-1 and ask about special help for veterans.
Your children can stay in their same school for the whole school year even if you are homeless. Or they can go to any school in the area where you are staying.
If the district sends your child to a school that you did not want, they must give you the reasons in writing. They must also tell you how to appeal their decision.
You can get help from
They can still go to school. If they have never been in a Connecticut school until now, they will go to school in the district where you are staying.
Ask the school to enroll your children in the school lunch program for free lunches. Some schools also have free breakfasts. If you need help with transportation, the school must transport your children to school.
You have the right to go to school and get help with transportation. For help, contact the Center for Children’s Advocacy teen hotline: