Connecticut State Veteran’s Benefits 2020

2020

The state of Connecticut provides veteran benefits in the below areas. Following that is a brief description of each of them

  • Housing Benefits
  • Financial Assistance Benefits
  • Employment Benefits
  • Education Benefits
  • Recreation Benefits
  • Other State Veteran Benefits

Housing Programs

Housing

The entity operating any Department of Economic Development (DECD) funded low or moderate-income rental housing project must give preference to wartime veterans who have resided in-state at any time for two continuous years. These veterans will be given preference over other applicants when housing needs are substantial equal. Additionally, DECD provides other housing preferences to wartime veterans (e.g., sales in certain one-or two-family homes or condominiums in a project, or mortgage loans).

Veterans’ Home

Veterans who need medical or surgical care and treatment are eligible for admission to the Veterans’ Home or any other veterans’ hospital. Those with no adequate means of support are also eligible for admission to certain hospitals at the state’s expense (e.g., state chronic disease hospital, mental hospital, or training school for people with intellectual disabilities). The veterans’ affairs commissioner has sole power to determine who is admitted to these facilities. The Sgt John L. Levitow residential facility operated by the Veterans Administration is primarily designed to meet the commissioner’s needs to provide such services.

The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) has a long history of “Serving Those Who Served”; since 1864, the Agency has supported Connecticut Veterans and continues this tradition with Residential and Healthcare programming on their campus in Rocky Hill. There are two paths for residency at the DVA. A Residential Facility which Offers temporary, supportive living with programming designed to return Connecticut veterans to independent living in the community or the Healthcare Center which is state-of-the-art medical facility with long-term care for veterans with chronic, disabling conditions who require 24-hour assistance.

Residential Facility

The 500 bed Facility provides veterans with a continuum of wrap around rehabilitation services and programs, within a community living environment.  Residential Staff, consisting of Social Workers, Residential Workers, a Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator, a Therapeutic Recreation Therapist and Case Managers assist each Veteran Resident in developing an individualized plan, which outlines their goals and objectives to successfully return to independent living. The fee is 30 percent of a veteran’s monthly income. Services Available as a Veteran Resident of the Residential Facility include:

  • Employment & Education — Vocational Rehabilitation Program, Educational Services, Employment Search Assistance, and Veteran Vocational & Therapeutic Program (VVTP).
  • Social Work & Case Management — DVA Social Work Service and Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (Chrysalis Center, Inc.) Partnership.
  • Collaborative Partnerships with Department of Labor, Connecticut Veterans Legal Center, and Department of Social Services.
  • Recovery Support — Four week outpatient service available to DVA Resident Veterans and Veterans in the community through the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ Veterans Recovery Center located on the DVA campus.
  • Veteran Entertainment and Technology Connection, or VET Connection — Resource center for Veteran Residents with six desktop computers, two smart TVs.
  • Veterans Fitness Center — Veterans Fitness Center with new cardio machines and weights.
  • Nutritional Services.
  • Recreation and Activities.
  • Transportation Services.
  • Spiritual and Religious Services.

Additional services available through the Connecticut Veterans Residential Facility include:

  • Room & Board: All meals, clothing and medical care are provided to residents. Each veteran admitted is billed monthly according to the Rules and Regulations at a rate determined by the Commissioner
  • Vocational Exploration And Counseling: Veterans who express an interest in pursuing a specific career goal meet with the Vocational Counselor to help them determine career areas of interest and to identify the skills, abilities and training required to prepare them for competitive employment in that field. An individualized vocational rehabilitation plan is then developed outlining the steps necessary to achieve their career goal,
  • Recreational Services: Recreational Services are provided for all Residential Facility Residents. Activities include Bingo, Table Games, Pool Tournaments, Softball, Basketball, Movies and in-house groups. Outside trips to ball games, theater, shopping malls and local organizations are also available.
  • Social Work Services: Veterans are assigned a Social Worker once they are admitted to the Residential Facility. This Social Worker can assist them with pursuing benefits they may be eligible for such as Social Security Disability, Retirement and Medicare. Assistance can also be provided to help veterans address financial problems, family issues, legal matters and eventual housing needs when the time comes to discharge from the facility.
  • Women’s Residence: A separate secured residence is available for single women. They have access to all programs and services provided in the Residential Facility.
  • Star Program: A separate residence is available to veterans who have secured full time employment. They reside in private rooms on the grounds of the CTVA. The length of stay in the STAR program is a maximum of one (1) year.
  • Recovery Support Program: This program provides a variety of recovery support services to veterans who have chosen to be clean and sober and whose long-term wish is to reintegrate back into the community. Treatment components include relapse prevention, anger management, 12 Step groups and daily support meetings.
  • Employment Search Assistance: Once veterans are ready to begin their transition back to community-based gainful employment, assistance is provided with Resume Writing, Networking and Interviewing Skills. Veterans can utilize the Career Resource Center at the facility to access employment websites to ensure greater success in obtaining gainful employment.
  • Veteran Work Program: Veterans, if physically qualified, participate in a compensated work therapy program, which exists on the grounds of the CTVA. Veterans are assigned work in a number of departments depending on previous work experience, job interest and available openings. Quarterly work evaluations are completed on each worker.

Healthcare Center

DVA Healthcare Center

Veterans Health Center 287 West St., Rocky Hill, CT 06067

The Healthcare Center at the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs is a licensed by the Connecticut Department of Public Health as a chronic disease hospital providing long term care and services to veteran patients with chronic and disabling medical conditions. These conditions and services include but are not limited to:

  • Heart and lung disease, Stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Other dementias
  • Palliative care and Respite Care
  • Pharmacy, Dietician, Lab Services, Social Workers, Spiritual Services, Psychiatry, Respiratory Therapists, Medicaid Coordinators, Mental Health Services, Music & Memory, Physiatry, Podiatry, VA Benefits Coordinators, Rehabilitation Services, Coordinated off-site services and transportation, and Therapy Dogs

Those who walk through the doors of the HCC immediately feel a sense of community, comfort, and camaraderie. The HCC stands apart from other 24-hour care centers with full time Physicians and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses on staff. Veteran patients also enjoy private and semi-private rooms with in suite bathroom. The highly trained staff is dedicated to providing compassionate care to meet the unique needs of Veteran patients, built on the foundation of integrity, honor, and respect. They pride themselves on fostering these qualities as they honor Veteran patients for their service and encourage the innate bond between them.

The health care center has a capacity of 250 beds and a 50-bed substance abuse recovery program. Professional services are provided by staff physicians, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, OT, PT, RT, dieticians and social workers are augmented by community specialists, as well as, networking to local VA and major area hospitals when appropriate. By Statute, veterans who are able to pay in whole or in part for programs or services determined by the applicable fee schedule will receive a monthly bill for such services rendered. The Healthcare Center at the CT Veterans’ Home provides long term care to veterans with chronic and disabling medical conditions. These conditions include but are not limited to heart and lung disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The program also provides End-of-Life care, Palliative care and Respite care. The Healthcare Center is licensed by the CT Department of Public Health as a Chronic Disease Hospital. To qualify for admission to the Healthcare Center a veteran must:

  • Submit an application in advance
  • Submit a report of medical history and physical examination
  • Pass an eligibility check
  • Have a chronic medical condition or need which requires skilled nursing care or requires 24 hour assistance or supervision with activities of daily living

At times, admission may be deferred until an appropriate bed is available. Currently, there is a waiting list for admission to the Sgt. John L. Levitow Healthcare Center. For more details on the facility and services it provides click on https://portal.ct.gov/DVA/Pages/Residential-and-Healthcare-Programs. Submit Application and required documents to: Department Of Veterans Affairs, Attn: Residential Admission Coordinator, 287 West Street, Rocky Hill, CT 06067 Fax: 860-616-3556. For questions regarding this application and admission to the Residential Facility call: (860) 616-3802. For form procurement clock on the following as needed:

Financial Assistance Benefits

Property Tax Exemptions

Veterans, who have ninety days of wartime service, including Merchant Marines, who served during WWII, are eligible for a $1,500 exemption for property tax purposes (e.g., real property or automobiles). You have the option to choose to apply this exemption to your real estate or automobile tax. Certain veterans, who do not own real property or a motor vehicle, may be eligible for a tax refund if they are leasing a motor vehicle. Veterans below a certain income level and/or service connected disabled veterans are eligible for additional property tax exemptions (up to $10,000 for paraplegics). Surviving spouses of veterans may also be eligible for this benefit. Contact your municipality’s Tax Assessor Officer for specific details.

Towns that evaluate after October 1988 must adjust their veteran’s property tax exemptions above statutory limits. The adjustment must be proportionate to the change in the value of the town’s grand list following revaluation. (CGS § 12-62). By Connecticut’s definition, this exemption is the reduction of the property’s assessed value for tax purposes.

State Income Tax

Active duty pay is tax-free if stationed out-of-state, provided you don’t own a home in Connecticut or live there for more than 30 days per year. Connecticut veterans and their survivors receiving federally taxable military retirement pay or SBP are eligible for an exemption from the state income tax.

Wartime Bonus

Connecticut National Guard members are eligible for a bonus of $50 for every month of mobilized service after Sep. 11, 2001 with a maximum payment of $500 for non-combat or $1,200 for combat service.

Commissioner’s Temporary Assistance

Wartime veterans who need help because of disability or other service-related cause are eligible for temporary financial assistance from the veterans’ affairs commissioner in an amount and for a time she decides. Shemay also help the spouse, parents, children, or siblings of any veteran who died as a result of such service if they cannot support themselves because of the veteran’s death (CGS § 27-125)

Connecticut Military Family Relief Fund

The Military Relief Fund provides monetary grants to service members and their families experiencing a financial hardship as a result of military service. The amount of the grant award is dependent on the unique circumstances of each case but may not exceed $5,000.

The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund

The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund (SSMF) is a state fund administered by the American Legion for the purpose of providing temporary financial assistance for veterans with 90 days of wartime service, who are disabled, unemployed or for sickness. An applicant must be a resident of the State of Connecticut at the time of application for benefits. SSMF provides funding for emergency needs such as clothing, food, medical and surgical aid, and general care and relief. For further information call 860-296-0719.

State Employment Benefits

Employment Assistance

An employee who leaves any public authority or public agency to enter the armed forces can be reinstated in their former position. Veterans must reapply within ninety days following receipt of a certificate from the armed forces confirming satisfactory service.

For classified competitive state exams, a wartime veteran eligible for or receiving VA compensation receives an additional ten points. A wartime veteran not eligible for VA compensation or pension receives five additional points. A spouse of a qualified veteran is also eligible for additional points. However, to qualify, the veteran or spouse must achieve a passing grade on the examination score. If an honorably discharged veteran has served in a military action for which he/she received, or is entitled to receive, a campaign badge or expeditionary medal, he/she qualifies for five additional points if they receive a passing grade on their examination.

Veteran Education Benefits

Tuition Waivers

Veterans may attend Connecticut Public Colleges and Universities tuition free. Connecticut statutes provide that tuition may be waived for qualified veterans attending the University of Connecticut, Connecticut State Universities and the 12 Community-Technical Colleges. Waivers cover only the cost of tuition for credit-bearing undergraduate and graduate programs. Other charges, such as for books, student activity and course fees, parking, and room and board, are not waived. To qualify for a waiver at the University of Connecticut and Connecticut State Universities, veterans generally must be matriculated, that is, admitted to a degree program. The Community-Technical Colleges are more flexible. Remember to take a copy of your separation papers with you when applying for admission and registering for courses.

Tuition Coverage

Tuition waivers for veterans cover 100% of tuition for General Fund courses at all public colleges and universities and 50% for Extension Fund and summer courses at Connecticut State Universities.

For more information it is highly recommended you contact the Veterans Services or Financial Aid/Bursar’s Office of the school you are interested in attending:

To be eligible for veterans’ tuition benefits at any college or university, a veteran must:

  • Honorably discharged or released from under honorable conditions from active service in the U.S. Armed Forces. National Guard members, activated under Title 10 of the United States Code, are also included;
  • Have served at least 90 days or more cumulative days active duty in time of war (see Periods of Service) except if separated from service earlier because of a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs rated service-connected disability; or the war, campaign or operation lasted less than 90 days and service was for the duration;
  • Accepted for admission at a Connecticut public college or university;
  • Living in Connecticut at the time of acceptance, which includes domicile for less than one year.

Recreation Benefits

Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Any active duty military member, no matter where they are stationed, can buy hunting, trapping and fishing licenses for the resident rate.

State Parks

Connecticut offers a free lifetime pass to all state parks and forests for Connecticut residents with a service connected disability.

Other State Veteran Benefits

Burial in Connecticut’s Veterans’ Cemetery

The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Cemetery Administration does not maintain a cemetery in Connecticut. However, any veteran discharged with other than a dishonorable discharge is eligible for burial free of charge in its state veterans’ cemetery in Middletown. Spouses are also eligible for this benefit. There is no charge for the plot, single or double depth, or cremation, for the opening or closing of the grave or the perpetual care of the grave. A white, upright marble headstone/marker is required and provided by the Federal Government; it is installed by cemetery personnel at no cost. The vault that the casket is placed in is required and is the responsibility of the family. Veterans can arrange in advance to reserve a space in the cemetery; however, an exact gravesite is assigned after a person dies. An eligible veteran’s spouse may be buried in the cemetery before the veteran.  Many towns statewide operate their own veterans’ cemeteries, which are independent from the State Veterans’ Cemetery. Burial in these cemeteries is usually limited to residents of the town in which the cemetery is located. For guidance on requesting burial in the cemetery refer to https://portal.ct.gov/DVA/Pages/Cemetery-and-Memorial-Services/Eligibility.

Picture

cemetery photo

State Veterans’ Cemetery Middletown, CT

State Veterans Cemetery Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a veteran who served at least 90 days of active duty and was released from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions.
  • Must have either entered the service as a Connecticut resident, died as a Connecticut resident or provide proof of one-time residency in Connecticut.
  • Must be the spouse of an eligible veteran.
  • Honorable service in the Armed Forces of any country allied with the United States is also acceptable.

For additional information contact : Cemetery and Memorial Services, Department of Veteran’s Affairs,

287 West St., Rocky Hill, CT 06067 Tel: 860-721-5838.

Location and hours of the State Veterans’ Cemetery: State Veterans’ Cemetery, 317 Bow Lane, Middletown, CT 06457  Everyday 7:30 a.m. to sunset. Burials take place:  Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 2:00 pm.

Motor Vehicles Waiver

State law provides for free motor vehicle registration and special plates to former prisoners of war and recipients of the Medal of Honor.

Veterans, who were state residents at the time of induction and who apply within two years of receiving an honorable discharge, are exempt from paying for an operator’s license and examination fees for one licensing period.

State law also provides that fees may be waived for the following registration items, subject to a formal determination by the Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • Special License plates for disabled veterans
  • Special fee license plates for certain disabilities (loss of use or loss of limb, or blind) handicapped and overtime parking.
  • If receiving auto grant from the VA or Medal of Honor recipient, exemption from registration fees.

The Connecticut DMV has available the below license plates for use by the military community. For eligibility requirements and procurement details click on the title of the appropriate plate below.

Disabled American Veteran

Disabled American
Veteran

First Company Governor's Foot Guard Plate

First Company
Governor’s Foot Guard

First Company Governor's Horse Guard

First Company
Governor’s Horse Guard

Flag Style Veteran Plate

Flag-Style
Veteran

Gold Star Family License Plate

Gold Star Family

Greater Hartford Chapter of 82nd Airborne

Greater Hartford
Chapter of 82nd Airborne

Iwo Jima Survivor

Iwo Jima
Survivor

Korean War Veterans Association Plate

Korean War
Veterans Association Inc.

Laos Veterans of America

Laos Veterans
of America

Marine Corps. League Inc.

Marine Corps.
League Inc.

Military order of Purple Heart

Military Order
of the Purple Heart

National Guard Association of Connecticut (Active)

National Guard Assoc.
of Connecticut (Active)

Retired National Guard Association of Connecticut

National Guard Assoc.
of Connecticut (Retired)

Pearl Harbor 1941

Pearl Harbor
1941

Second Compnay Governor's Foot Guard

Second Company
Governor’s Foot Guard

U.S. Submarine Veteran

U.S. Submarine
Veteran

Veteran Motorcycle Plate

Veteran
Motorcycle Plate

Honorary High School Diplomas.

Local or regional school boards may award high school diplomas to honorably discharged World War II, Korean War, or Vietnam War veterans who did not receive their diplomas because they left high school for military service (CGS § 10-221a(i))

Educational Financial Aid for Certain Children.

The law provides state education aid to wartime veterans’ children between ages 16 and 23 if the veteran was killed in action, died from an illness or accident while on active duty, is totally and permanently disabled, or missing in action in Vietnam. The amount ofaid, which is based on need, is up to $400 per year (CGS § 10a-166).

Connecticut Veteran-Owned Micro Business Certification

Pursuant to Public Act 16-184 Connecticut Veteran-owned micro businesses shall be afforded a fifteen per cent price preference in the determination of the lowest responsible qualified bidder by the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services (DAS) pursuant to (CGS § 4a-59 as amended).

ELIGIBILITY: To receive the fifteen per cent price preference, a bidding business must first obtain a Veteran-owned Micro Business certification from the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. The Certification is valid for one year or until such time as the business is no longer in compliance with the statutory requirements, whichever occurs first. The Certification must be submitted to DAS along with your business’ state contract bid.

Additional information for the Connecticut Veteran-Owned Micro Business Certification.

Veterans Agriculture Program

This program gives a tax incentive to encourage certain veterans to start a farming business. Specifically, the law relaxes the conditions eligible veterans must meet to qualify for a sales and use tax exemption permit for property used exclusively in commercial agricultural production (CGS § 12-412(63)(D)).

Pretrial Diversionary Programs

The law allows veterans to participate in accelerated rehabilitation twice, instead of only once, as allowed by law for non-veterans (CGS § 54-56e). The accelerated rehabilitation program is available for people accused of certain crimes or motor vehicle violations. It also allows veterans (1) participating in the pretrial drug education program or (2) with certain mental health conditions that are amenable to treatment to be assigned to state and federal departments of veterans’ affairs services as an alternative to services from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (CGS §§ 54-56i and 54-56l). (Pretrial diversionary programs allow criminal defendants to avoid prosecution and incarceration by successfully completing these court-sanctioned community-based treatment programs before trial.)

Other Than Honorable (OTH) Discharge and State and Municipal Benefits

Effective October 1, 2018, Public Act 18-47 extends certain state and municipal benefits, currently available to veterans honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces, to veterans who received an Other than Honorable (OTH) discharge characterization.

To be eligible for such benefits, a veteran with an OTH discharge must be diagnosed with one or more of three “Qualifying Conditions” which are: (1) post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from military service, (2) a traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting from military service, or (3) experienced military sexual trauma (MST) as described in 38 U.S.C. § 1720D.

The diagnosis/determination must be made by an individual licensed “to provide health care services at a United States Department of Veterans Affairs facility” which includes the following licensed persons: Physicians, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Psychologists and Licensed Clinical Social Worker and will complete CT DVA OTH Form 1. Additional information for the OTH Qualifying Condition Verification

Occupational Licenses

  • A veteran whose hairdressing or cosmetology license expired while he or she was in the armed services may have it reinstated without paying the required fees (CGS § 20-256).
  • DPH may suspend any provision of law governing qualifications for opticians with respect to World War II and Korean War veterans if the department deems the provision unjust and the suspension does not jeopardize public health and safety. (CGS § 20-147).
  • When a veteran’s embalmer or funeral director’s license expires while he or she is in the Armed Forces, the Department of Public Health (DPH) may waive the examination required for reinstatement, provided the department approves the veteran’s professional qualifications. The veteran must apply within a year of separation from service. (CGS § 20-228).

Licensing and Registration Exemptions

Veterans are exempt from annual and biennial license and registration fees or occupational taxes for one year after they are honorably discharged from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. (CGS § 27-102a)

High School Examination Fee Waiver

Veterans are exempt from paying the $13 fee to take or retake the examination for the state high school diploma (general equivalency diploma or GED). (CGS § 10-5).

Death Certificate Fee Waiver

A veteran’s spouse, child, or parent is entitled to have the $20 fee waived for one certified copy of the veteran’s death certificate. (CGS § 7-74).

State Identification Card Fee Waiver for Blind Veterans

The law authorizes the DMV commissioner to waive the $22.50 non-driver identification card fee for any applicant who is a blind veteran. (CGS § 1-1h).

Postjudgment Debt Collection

The law exempts veterans’ benefits from being collected as part of postjudgment proceedings from people who have secured a court order (e.g., installment payment order or wage execution). (CGS § 52-352b)

Utility Termination

The law limits when utility companies can terminate residential service for non-payment in hardship cases, which includes a veteran whose sole source of financial support is his or her veterans’ benefit (CGS § 16-262c(b)(3)). For more information on utility termination, see OLR Report 2012-R-0170.

Retirement

Members of The Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, who leave municipal employment to enter the armed forces while the United States is at war, engaged in hostilities, or during national emergencies and are re-employed by the municipality within six months of discharge, are credited with the period of service as though they had been continuously employed. This six-month limitation can be extended due to service-related disability.

Visit the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs website https://portal.ct.gov/dva or contact information and benefits assistance. Also https://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/rpt/pdf/2015-r-0012.pdf.

[Source: http://www.military.com/benefits/veteran-state-benefits/connecticut-state-veterans-benefits.html | Oct 2020 ++]

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