NOTICE:

The Department of Social Services has suspended in-person visits to our field offices as a protective measure for customers and staff. We are continuing to provide services. Customers can access benefit and application information, 24/7, at www.connect.ct.gov and www.ct.gov/dss/apply; or 1-855-6-CONNECT. Full information on ways to contact DSS online, by phone, by mail, and at office dropboxes is at www.ct.gov/dss/fieldoffices. Information and updates about child support is available at www.ct.gov/dss/childsupport. Please also visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus for latest State of Connecticut updates; and www.ct.gov/dss/covid for DSS-specific updates. Thank you.

DSS Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 global icon.

[Site updated 5-12-20]

 

 

 

 

For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, including guidance and other resources, all residents in the state are encouraged to visit www.ct.gov/coronavirus.  Governor Lamont’s updates and press releases (direct at https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Pages/Governors-Press-Releases) are among the important resources for all Connecticut residents at www.ct.gov/coronavirus, which is updated daily.

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DSS Information and Resources

Information about Applying for DSS Services

The Department of Social Services has suspended in-person visits to our 12 field offices as a protective measure for customers and staff. We are continuing to provide services. Our customers can access benefit and application information, 24/7, at www.connect.ct.gov and www.ct.gov/dss/apply; or 1-855-6-CONNECT. Full information on ways to contact DSS online, by phone and by mail is at www.ct.gov/dss/fieldoffices.

Information for HUSKY Health members (including Medicaid coverage for uninsured during COVID-19 emergency

Information for HUSKY Health providers

Information for SNAP members


  • New SNAP food benefits for children in free and reduced-price school lunch program.  With in-person classes at all preK-12 public school facilities in Connecticut now canceled for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, Governor Lamont announced on May 6 that the state received federal approval to provide $95.5 million in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to about 270,000 children eligible for the free and reduced-price meals program. The new federal authorization boosts the Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT) program in Connecticut by $26.2 million over the original amount that was geared toward a May 20 school reopening.  More info, including timeframe for benefit distribution, at www.ct.gov/snap.  [updated 5-12-20]
  • Suspension of ‘ABAWD’ work requirements.  ABAWD work requirements and three-month SNAP time limit for enrollees in all towns in Connecticut for the duration of the public health emergency, per Congressional action (ABAWD=Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).

  • Extension of SNAP eligibility.  If your SNAP renewal form or periodic review form (PRF) was due in March 2020—benefits are automatically continued through September 2020.  If your SNAP renewal form or PRF is due in April 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through October 2020.  If your SNAP renewal form or PRF is due in May 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through November 2020.  If your SNAP renewal for or PRF is due in June 2020—benefits will automatically be continued through  December 2020.

  • Additional SNAP benefits for over 107,000 households:  The Department of Social Services provided over $16 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to over half of Connecticut’s SNAP participants on Friday, May 8, 2020 – adding to the $32.7 million in emergency benefits disbursed in April.  More information at www.ct.gov/snap.

  • Suspension of SNAP Interviews for Many Applicants.  For SNAP applications received March 1 through May 31, 2020, the Department of Social Services is no longer conducting telephone interviews in many situations.  As authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, this change will help speed eligibility determination for SNAP during the COVID-19 emergency.  More information at www.ct.gov/snap.

  • Planning for online access to food with SNAP benefitsDSS is working closely with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service and the state’s EBT vendor toward SNAP online purchasing.  When implemented, SNAP enrollees will be able to purchase eligible food items online for delivery or curbside pickup.

Food Resources for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency:  Special information from the Office of Early Childhood  (En Espanol)

Information for Non-Agency-Based In-Home Caregivers

Information for Medicaid Members Who Self-Direct In-Home Care

At a Glance…

Among the actions DSS has taken so far, including some through Governor Lamont’s executive orders:

  • Providing COVID-19 testing coverage for uninsured children and adults in the HUSKY Health program as part of the state’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Info at www.ct.gov/husky/covidinfoforproviders.

  • Additional SNAP benefits for nearly 100,000 householdsThe Department of Social Services is providing Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to nearly half of Connecticut SNAP participants on May 8, 2020.

  • New SNAP benefits for children in free and reduced-price school lunch program.  The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program is expected to bring food benefits to about 270,000 Connecticut children who are not able to receive meals at school. 

  • Eliminating the requirement for face-to-face interviews to qualify for Temporary Family Assistance.

  • Suspending the 21-month limit on receiving Temporary Family Assistance from applying during all months of such assistance received during the public health and civil preparedness emergency. Suspending the time limit for this program will help families get the time and resources they need to get back on their path to self-sufficiency after the emergency is over.

  • Expanding capacity of our telephone Benefits Center.

  • Expanding telehealth coverage in Medicaid/HUSKY Health.

  • Suspending in-person attendance requirements for certain administrative hearings.

  • Suspending medical and pharmacy co-payments in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (HUSKY B).
  • Covering testing and treatment for COVID-19, without co-pays, in  Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program/HUSKY Health.
     
  • Waiving Medicare Part D co-payments that are otherwise required for dually eligible individuals dually enrolled in Medicaid and Medicare.

  • Allowing refills of non-maintenance and maintenance medications for up to 90 days for Medicaid/HUSKY Health beneficiaries (except for controlled substances.
  • Modifying the HUSKY Health early-refill policy for prescriptions to reduce the ‘pharmacy early refill threshold’ from 93% to 80%.

  • Suspending SNAP ‘ABAWD’ work requirements.  The ‘ABAWD’ work requirements and three-month SNAP time limit are suspended for enrollees in all towns in Connecticut for the duration of the public health emergency, per Congressional action (ABAWD=Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependent Children enrolled in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).

  • Extension of SNAP eligibility timeframes.  The Department of Social Services is automatically extending SNAP enrollees’ benefits through September 2020 (if renewal or ‘periodic review form’ was due in March); through October 2020 if due in April; through November 2020 if due in May; and through December 2020 if due in June.

  • Extending Timeframe to Ask for a Hearing.  If you disagree with an action the Department has taken, you now have 90 days from the date of the notice (previously 60 days) to ask for a hearing.

  • Suspending SNAP Interviews for Many Applicants.  For SNAP applications and renewals received March 1 through May 31, 2020, DSS is no longer conducting telephone interviews in many situations.

  • Extending Medicaid/HUSKY Health and cash assistance eligibility timeframes. Initial implementation:  if medical or cash assistance benefits were scheduled to end in March 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through June 2020.  If medical or cash assistance benefits are scheduled to end in April 2020—benefits will be automatically continued through July 2020.

  • Suspending co-payments for full benefit Medicare Part D beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicaid.  These beneficiaries are no longer responsible for co-payments of up to $17 per month (aggregate for all prescriptions) for their medications covered by Medicare Part D.  Instead, the Department of Social Services will cover the copayment amounts in full, after any other insurer has paid, during the public health emergency. 
  • Suspending recoupment of non-fraudulent overpayments for public assistance.  Collections and recoupments of non-fraud-related SNAP and cash assistance overpayments will automatically be suspended for 60 days, covering the benefit months of April and May 2020.  Individuals who have a reduced benefit amount because of a previous overpayment will see their benefits increased for these months.  Collections and recoupments for any outstanding balances will automatically resume with the normal June benefit disbursements.
  • Increasing enrollment flexibilities across Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (together also known as HUSKY Health):

    • Extending Medicaid and CHIP renewal end dates by three months.  Individuals with renewal closure dates of 3/31/20 were extended three months.  Their new renewal end date is 6/30/20.  We will continue to extend as necessary.  Active Medicaid spend-down cases were extended six months.

    • Delaying Certain Changes--DSS will not take action on cases on changes that would result in a change of eligibility group or termination; e.g., a change in family income.  If individuals would have aged-out of a certain program, they will remain enrolled for the duration of the pandemic crisis.

    • Allowing more time for individuals to send verification documents across all programs

    • For HUSKY A, B and D, which normally have a 90-day, post-enrollment, reasonable opportunity period to send in verification documents, the period was extended to 180 days. 

    • For HUSKY A, B and D, we have adopted a broader reasonable compatibility standard to evaluate income.  The income compatibility threshold had been 10% and now is 20%.  This will allow more individuals to enroll or auto-renew without needing to submit verifications.

The Department submitted an Section 1135 public health emergency waiver request to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and has been approved for the following:

  • Increasing access-to-care flexibilities by giving DSS the authority to waive various prior authorizations and serve HUSKY Health members in alternate settings such as a shelter or vehicle.
  • Removing barriers for providers by allowing deferred provider enrollment revalidations and creating flexibility to enroll new providers. 

Further, CMS indicated that ‘blanket waivers’ issued at the federal level authorize the state to take actions including increasing the bed capacity in various health care settings and maximizing Medicare coverage of nursing facility stays.

  • Extending the application period for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program. Residents will now have until June 1, 2020 to apply for assistance to help cover this past winter’s heating bills (the previous deadline was May 1). For application sites and eligibility information, visit ct.gov/staywarm, call 2-1-1, text CTWARM to 898-211, or contact a community action agency
Department of Social Services Commissioner’s Orders

Extension of time requirements for administrative matters

Extension of time to file detailed items of aggrievement for hospital rate re-hearings

Modification of Home Health Regulations – APRN & PA Authorization to Order Home Health Services