**DSS Field Offices are now open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

**DSS Field Offices and our staffed telephone Benefits Center (1-855-6-CONNECT or 1-855-626-6632) are closed on Wednesdays to allow our staff time to process applications, renewals and related work.

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

Overview

NEW! September 22, 2021 - ‘Pandemic EBT’ food benefits going to nearly 200,700 schoolchildren on September 26

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Education, today announced that $75.2 million in special food assistance benefits will be distributed Sunday, September 26, 2021, to the families of nearly 200,700 schoolchildren who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meals program and who receive services from the Department of Social Services.

This is the first distribution of food benefits that will go to a total of approximately 283,100 schoolchildren through the federal Summer Pandemic EBT: Children in School program.  This provides SNAP benefits to families of children who were eligible to receive free and reduced-priced meals at their school as of the end of the 2020–2021 school year, and covers the summer period of July 2021–August 2021. An additional distribution for approximately 82,400 children who do not receive services from DSS is expected to be announced in October.

Specifically:

  • The Department of Social Services is issuing benefits to the households of 200,700 children currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Family Assistance (TFA), or HUSKY Health/Medicaid who were also receiving free and reduced priced meals in their school as of June 2021, regardless of learning model. DSS will deposit Summer Pandemic EBT food benefits onto the existing EBT accounts on September 26, 2021. For nearly 4,000 families that previously did not receive a Pandemic EBT card, new EBT cards will be mailed on September 24, 2021, and will arrive with instructions on how to activate them and access the food benefits.
  • The planned one-time additional benefit is $375 per child enrolled in the free and reduced-price meals program.
  • To date, before the upcoming September 26 distribution, DSS, in partnership with the Department of Education, has provided over $302.5 million in P-EBT benefits for the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 school years to over 290,000 public school students and 492 private school students who are eligible for the free or reduced-price meals program.
  • Benefits can be used at any location that accepts SNAP/EBT cards.  This includes farmers’ markets and direct market farms.  In fact, enrollees can double the value of Pandemic EBT or other SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets participating in CT Fresh Match (more information on that program can be found at www.endhungerct.org/services/farmers-markets). Pandemic EBT participants will also have online access to eligible food purchases through delivery or curbside pickup at participating retailers Amazon, Aldi and Price Chopper/Market 32 via Instacart, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Food Bazaar, ShopRite, Stop and Shop and Walmart.  For more information, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

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NEW! September 15, 2021 - Connecticut’s SNAP-eligible households to receive additional emergency food benefits September 18

The Connecticut Department of Social Services today announced that it will deliver $32.3 million in Emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to over 216,200 Connecticut households on Saturday, September 18, 2021. Monthly allocations of emergency SNAP benefits are going to all enrolled households, based on continuance of a declared public health emergency related to COVID-19 in Connecticut.

Authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, this federal allocation will provide a minimum of $95 in extra food aid to all enrolled families and individuals, raising the state’s total emergency SNAP funding to over $438.8 million since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Specifically:

  • All 216,200 SNAP-eligible households statewide will receive the emergency benefits on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards on September 18, 2021.
  • Households already eligible for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit will receive an extra $95.
  • The remaining households that don’t usually qualify for the maximum monthly SNAP benefit because of income or other factors will receive extra benefits of at least $95 but averaging an estimated $152 (depending on their specific benefit situation).
  • With this additional $32.3 million allocation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, emergency benefits are totaling over $438.8 million in additional SNAP assistance statewide over 17 months, with commensurate spending at supermarkets, groceries, farmers markets, and other food retailers.
  • The $95 increase results from President Biden’s January 22, 2021, executive order, which required the USDA to consider new guidance allowing states to increase SNAP emergency benefit allocations for all households, including those previously ineligible to receive it. This increase is expected to be ongoing, contingent on continuation of the public health emergency.
  • All households also received their normal SNAP benefits, including the previously announced 15% increase from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, on one of the first three days of the month as they normally do, according to last name.
  • If a household is granted regular SNAP benefits on or after Wednesday, September 16, the additional SNAP benefits will be added to the EBT card on a Friday, depending on the date of granting.

For additional information about SNAP, visit www.ct.gov/snap.

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UPDATED August 26, 2021 - Expansion of online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits; Stop & Shop joins BJ’s Wholesale Club, Price Chopper, Aldi, Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite. 

The Department of Social Services (DSS) is pleased to announce the expansion of its Online Purchasing Pilot to include Stop & Shop stores across Connecticut.  Stop & Shop now accepts EBT payments for SNAP-eligible items when placing online orders for Stop & Shop Pickup and Delivery for in-club pickup and curbside pickup (www.stopandshop.com/new-customer).

Customers who prefer to use the Instacart marketplace may now also use their SNAP benefits to purchase grocery items from Stop & Shop at https://www.instacart.com/stop-shop.

The new user-friendly experience offers online grocery shoppers the option to add their EBT card to their account on www.StopandShop.com  and shop using their SNAP funds.  While browsing online aisles, SNAP customers can sort products to show eligible items, and a "SNAP Eligible" label will appear within the product details.  At checkout, customers can select the "Apply SNAP Benefits" option and select the amount to charge to their EBT card, allowing personalized budgeting throughout the month.

Please click here to read the Stop & Shop news release, with full information about placing online orders for SNAP-eligible items.

We are also proud to have other major food retailers – BJ’s Wholesale Club, Aldi, Amazon, Walmart and ShopRite-- offering online purchasing of food with SNAP benefits in Connecticut.

**Please note:  Only Price Chopper, Aldi and Stop & Shop stores participate in Instacart.  Amazon, Walmart, ShopRite and BJ’s Wholesale Club have their own online delivery methods; please see links below. 

Online contact points are www.instacart.com/help/section/360009947632;www.amazon.com/snap-ebtwww.walmart.com/grocery; https://shoprite.com/Store-Locator; SNAP/EBT - Price Chopper - Market 32; www.BJs.com and BJs.com/help/ebt/; and www.stopandshop.com/new-customer.

Please note:  only SNAP benefits on EBT cards can be used for online purchases.  At this time, cash assistance benefits on EBT cards cannot be used for any part of online shopping, including shipping, delivery or service fees. Customers will need a secondary form of payment for non-food items, such as taxes, tips and fees, per federal SNAP guidelines.

While federal rules do not allow any SNAP benefits to be used for shipping, delivery or service fees, some food retailers may choose to waive fees, if applicable.  To help subsidize costs for EBT SNAP beneficiaries, through June 16, 2021, Instacart (representing ALDI & Price Chopper) will waive delivery and/or pickup fees on up to the first three EBT SNAP orders for each customer with a valid EBT card associated with their Instacart account.  After this period, online shopping customers using SNAP benefits must use another means of payment for any fees and/or any non-SNAP-eligible items they wish to purchase.

Customary shipping/delivery fees are:

  • Instacart pickup fees are $1.99 and delivery starts at $3.99.
  • ShopRite has a $10 service fee and a separate delivery fee.
  • Walmart fees vary between $7.95 and $9.95 (or a flat fee of $98/year).
  • Amazon waives delivery fees for orders over $35 with free 2-day shipping for Prime members. For non-Prime members, orders of $25 or more of receive free shipping in 5-8 business days.
  • Stop & Shop Pickup orders are subject to a $2.95 fee.  Stop & Shop Delivery orders are subject to a delivery fee of $9.95 for orders less than $100 and $6.95 for orders greater than $100.  Customers new to Pickup and Delivery can use promo code “SSONLINE50” for $50 off and free* delivery and pickup for 60 days.  *$50 off is obtained by getting $25 off your first two orders of $100 or more each (before taxes and after all other coupons and savings are applied). Stop & Shop will waive your Delivery and Pickup fee on first order and then on all subsequent orders of $100 or more if placed within 60 days of first order. Valid for first-time residential customers. Order calculation excludes alcoholic beverages, gift cards, postage stamps and any other purchases prohibited by law. Offer not transferable. Limit 1 per household. Fuel charges may apply. Enter code at first order checkout. Not valid with any other offer. Expires 12/31/21.

SNAP benefits are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which also regulates which foods are eligible for purchase with the benefits.   FNS is the authorizing agency for food retailers participating in the program.  For information about enrolling in SNAP EBT and online food sales through SNAP, food retailers can visit www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailer-requirements-provide-online-purchasing.

To read the federal approval announcement, click here. For more information about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Connecticut, visit www.ct.gov/snap

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Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP)

Overview

The Department of Social Services is pleased to announce a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) demonstration project for older adults and those with disabilities.  Once enrolled in SNAP, eligible households qualifying for the Elderly Simplified Application Project (ESAP) will experience additional flexibilities to support continued enrollment.

Flexibilities in ESAP include:

  • An expanded three-year SNAP certification period of eligibility;
  • No periodic report form will be due halfway through the certification cycle, as is usually the case for SNAP enrollees;
  • Revised reporting requirements (explained in greater detail below); and
  • The opportunity for some relaxed renewal flexibilities, when households meet additional requirements.

ESAP Eligibility Criteria:

  • All adult (18 years or older) household members must be determined elderly (60 years or older) or with a disability, per SNAP regulations and
  • No household members can be employed (i.e., receive countable earned income).

Revised Reporting Requirements:

Please note that ESAP-eligible SNAP households need to report information to DSS before their renewal is due if they experience a household change that would disqualify them from ESAP (for example, if the household no longer includes an older adult or adult with disability, or if they start working).  All SNAP households must report if they receive lotto/gambling winnings equal to or in excess of $3,500.   

SNAP Definition of a Disability:

An individual who meets one or more of the following:

  • Receives disability or blindness benefits from any of these programs: Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, or SSI-related Medicaid.

  • Receives a federally or state administered SSI supplement based on disability or blindness, or section 212(a) of PL 93-66.
    Receives a disability retirement benefit from a government agency for a disability considered permanent by SSA.
  • Is a veteran the VA considers totally disabled or permanently housebound or in need of regular aid and attendance.
  • Is a veteran’s surviving spouse who the VA considers:
    • in need of regular aid and attendance,
    • permanently housebound, or
    • approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA.
    • Is a veteran’s surviving child who the VA considers:
      • incapable of self-support, or
      • approved for benefits because of the veteran’s death and has a disability considered permanent by SSA
  • receives interim assistance benefits pending the receipt of Supplemental Security Income, receives disability related medical assistance under title XIX of the Social Security Act, or receives disability-based State general assistance (SAGA) benefits provided that the eligibility to receive any of these benefits is based upon disability or blindness criteria established by the State agency which are at least as stringent as those used under title XVI of the Social Security Act.

ESAP is designed to increase the efficiency of SNAP and reduce food insecurity among a population whose household circumstances generally stay the same and can have additional barriers associated with age or disability, such as transportation or mobility. The Connecticut Department of Social Services was approved for this demonstration project by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service, the agency that administers and funds SNAP nationwide.   We look forward to serving you!  [updated 10-30-20]

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Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) - The Department of Social Services (DSS), in collaboration with the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), received approval to operate this program in response to the COVID-19 related school closures for the 2019 – 2020 school year. P-EBT provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food. For more information please follow this link.

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

Suspension of ‘ABAWD’ work requirements.  ABAWD work requirements and three-month SNAP time limit for enrollees in all towns in Connecticut has been suspended 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).

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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.

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For Expedited SNAP cases:  DSS will still issues SNAP benefits for one or two months, depending on whether the application was received before or after the 15th of the month, while the interview and verifications are pending.  Just as above, If the household then responds with the needed information before completing the interview, and all the criteria above are met, the DSS worker will process the case without the interview.  Please note:  Expedited SNAP cases are those where the household has gross income less than $150 and liquid assets less than $100 in the month of application, whose combined income and assets are less than their combined rent/mortgage and utility expenses, or who are migrant or seasonal farmworkers who are destitute and have liquid assets less than $100 while residing in Connecticut.

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, helps eligible individuals and families afford the cost of food at supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

SNAP Time Limits for Able-Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs): What you should know

 

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SNAP recipients in Connecticut must report when their household’s total monthly gross income goes above 130% of the federal poverty level (FPL). Please follow this link to learn more about income reporting requirements.

Mensaje Importante sobre SNAP

Beneficiarios de SNAP en Connecticut tienen que reportar cuando el total del ingreso bruto mensual de su hogar exceda el 130% del nivel federal de pobreza (FPL) Oprime aquí para obtener más información.

 

Please follow this link to view the CT SNAP Policy Handbook.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement 

USDA Aviso de No Discriminación 

For full information about getting delicious, healthy foods at Connecticut farmers’ markets and farms, please follow this link.

 

If you're enrolled in SNAP, you can now take care of your

'periodic report form' online!  Check out www.ct.gov/dss/snapreportform

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 CHILDREN TO RECEIVE FREE ADMISSION AT CONNECTICUT MUSEUMS THIS SUMMER

 
 


From July 1 to September 6, 2021, all Connecticut children age 18 and under – plus one accompanying adult – will receive free admission to any of the participating museums, including historic house museums, historic sites, historical societies, art museums, children’s museums, science centers, special-interest museums, natural history museums, university museums, arboretums/botanical gardens, and zoos. The full list of participating museums is available at www.CTSummerMuseums.com.

To read Governor Lamont’s announcement, please click here!