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
- moving expenses;
- expenses to store your things (in some situations);
- money to pay a security deposit for heating;
- money to pay a security deposit for a new apartment if you can afford the rent; and
- fixing or replacing clothing or household items.
SNAP (Food Stamps)
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:
- HUSKY A and B are for children under 19, pregnant women, and some parents or other caregivers.
- HUSKY D is for adults (19 to 64) with income below 138% of poverty. If you have SSI or Medicare, you do not qualify.
- HUSKY C is for people who are disabled and have low income.
Apply for one of these programs at www.ct.gov/dss, or by calling 1-855-805-4325.
SSI and Social Security Disability
SSI and Social Security Disability are federal programs that help people who cannot work because of a disability. You are eligible if your disability
- keeps you from working for a year or more, or
- will cause you to die.
What kinds of disabilities qualify?
You will qualify if you have:
- A physical condition that
- makes it hard for you to walk, sit, stand, lift or carry; or
- causes you pain, tiredness, shortness of breath, or other serious symptoms that affect your ability to work.
- A mental health condition that causes serious problems with
- your memory, thinking, understanding, moods, or concentration; or
- your ability to work with other people.
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
- StateSupplement program (including cash assistance and sometimes other kinds of help); and
- Medicare Savings Program (helps pay the Part B premium).
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
- for help filling out forms;
- for help getting documents that you need; or
- to meet with DSS in person or by phone, depending on which is better for you.
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.
How do I ask for a hearing?
- Fill out and return the appeal form that came with the denial; or
- Mail or fax DSS a letter asking for a hearing. Use the address or fax number printed on your notice. Keep a copy of the letter or fax confirmation for your records. Your letter should have
- your name, address, the date, and your DSS client number;
- your reason for wanting a hearing; and
- your signature.
What will happen at the hearing?
- The hearing officer may ask you why you think you qualify for DSS programs. You will have to answer the officer.
- The officer will ask DSS to explain their side.
- The officer will decide if they agree with you or with DSS.
You should get your decision within 90 days of when you asked for the hearing.
Can someone help me get ready 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.