**The DSS Field Offices will be closed Monday, January 18, in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

**DSS Field Offices are now open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

**Field Offices and our telephone Benefits Center are closed on Wednesdays to allow our staff time to process applications, renewals and related work. Please visit www.ct.gov/dss/fieldoffices for full information about services at Field Offices, including interviews by appointment and Child Support services.

**24/7 access: Customers can access benefit and application information, at www.connect.ct.gov and www.ct.gov/dss/apply; or our Client Information Line at 1-855-6-CONNECT (1-855-626-6632) . More about 24/7 access options at www.ct.gov/dss/fieldoffices.

DSS Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 global icon.

[Site updated 11-20-20]

 

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.

 

Special Information for Individuals with Disabilities

 A List of Which Businesses Are Hiring (Hartford Courant, 5/11/20)

UPDATED! Getting Federal COVID-19 Cash Aid + Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

 

DSS Information and Resources

Information about Applying for DSS Services

Please see latest information in yellow bulletin box at top of this page.  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

UPDATED November 17, 2020--Special measures to assist SNAP enrollees during the Covid-19 public health emergency

  • No Periodic Review Forms--we are suspending the requirement to submit Periodic Review Forms (PRFs) for all SNAP enrollees from December 2020 through June 2021.  This means that you will not be receiving PRFs in the mail to fill out during this time period.

     

  • Automatic renewals for six months—we are automatically extending eligibility for SNAP enrollees whose normal annual certification is scheduled to end in November or December 2020.  In other words, you will not have to go through a renewal process, and your eligibility will be extended six months (to May or June 2021).  Please note:  SNAP enrollees whose eligibility was previously extended will still need to go through the renewal process.  We will send you a notice when you need to take any action to keep your SNAP eligibility.
  • 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). Further information at www.ct.gov/snap/abawd.

  • Additional SNAP benefits for 110,000 households:  The Department of Social Services provided the seventh monthly round of Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to eligible Connecticut SNAP participants on November 19, 2020.  Further information at www.ct.gov/snap.


  • Online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits.  The Department of Social Services is working with participating food retailers—Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite--to offer online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits in Connecticut.  Full details at www.ct.gov/snap.

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:

  • Extended Refugee Cash Assistance:  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) benefits are being extended if your immigration status was granted on or after April 1, 2019.  You may also be eligible for retroactive benefits.  If you received RCA in the past, and meet the qualifying immigration status requirement, you will soon be receiving a special mailing notice from DSS.  If you choose to reapply for RCA following the instructions in the notice, DSS will determine whether you are eligible for reinstatement of this benefit.  Please follow this link for more information.
  • 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/covidinfoformembers.
  • Additional SNAP benefits for 110,000 households:  The Department of Social Services provided the seventh monthly round of Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to eligible Connecticut SNAP participants on November 19, 2020.  Further information at www.ct.gov/snap.
  • 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).
  • No Periodic Review Forms for SNAP enrollees.  DSS is suspending the requirement to submit Periodic Review Forms (PRFs) for all SNAP enrollees from December 2020 through June 2021.  This means that you will not be receiving PRFs in the mail to fill out during this time period.
  • Automatic renewal of SNAP eligibility for six months.  DSS is automatically extending eligibility for SNAP enrollees whose normal annual certification is scheduled to end in November or December 2020.  In other words, you will not have to go through a renewal process, and your eligibility will be extended six months (to May or June 2021).  Please note:  SNAP enrollees whose eligibility was previously extended will still need to go through the renewal process.  We will send you a notice when you need to take any action to keep your SNAP eligibility. 

  • 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 June 30, 2020, DSS is no longer conducting telephone interviews in many situations.

  • Extended coverage for Medicaid/HUSKY Health clients: Medical assistance benefits will be continued for the duration of the federally-declared public health emergency (PHE).  The federal government most recently announced a 90 day extension of the PHE into January 2021 (see: https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/covid19-2Oct2020.aspx).  Beneficiaries should continue to respond to Departmental requests to renew benefits and provide information to ensure that coverage is maintained for as long as legally authorized.

  • 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):

    • Medical assistance benefits will be continued for the duration of the federally-declared public health emergency (PHE).  The federal government most recently announced a 90 day extension of the PHE into January 2021 (see: https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/covid19-2Oct2020.aspx).  Beneficiaries should continue to respond to Departmental requests to renew benefits and provide information to ensure that coverage is maintained for as long as legally authorized.
    • 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