Frequently Asked Questions

Seniors

The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is designed to help offset the winter heating costs of Connecticut's lower income households, specifically those households whose incomes fall at or below 60 percent of the state median income. For more information and to see if you qualify, follow this link: http://www.ct.gov/dss/lib/dss/pdfs/energy/liheapallocationplan.pdf

For eligible households, the winter heating assistance pays for such heating sources as oil, natural gas, electricity, propane, kerosene, coal, wood and wood pellets. Both homeowners and renters may apply.

Households eligible for the winter heating program may also be eligible to receive weatherization assistance. This can help conserve energy and lower heating bills.

The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is administered by the Department of Social Services, and coordinated by regional Community Action Agencies, in cooperation with municipal and other non-profit human service agencies. You can also contact 2-1-1- Infoline or the DSS Office of Community Services at 1-800-842-1132 for contact information of intake sites closest to where you reside. To see what Community Action Agency Services you, follow this link: http://www.cafca.org/our-network

Community Action Agencies:

The Community Action Agency of Western Connecticut, Inc. (203) 748-5422
New Opportunities, Inc. (Waterbury area) (203) 756-8151
(Meriden area) (203) 235-0278
Bristol Community Organization, Inc. (860) 582-7490
Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Inc. (860) 223-2288
Community Renewal Team, Inc. (Hartford area) (860) 560-5800 or 1-800-798-3805
(Middletown area) (860) 347-4465
ACCESS, Inc. (Willimantic area) (860) 450-7423)
(Danielson area) (860) 774-0418
Thames Valley Council for Community Action, Inc. (Norwich-New London area) (860) 425-6681
Community Action Agency of New Haven, Inc. (203) 387-7700
TEAM, Inc. (Derby-Ansonia-Shelton area) (203) 736-5420
Action for Bridgeport Community Development, Inc. (Bridgeport area) (203) 384-6904
(Norwalk area) (203) 838-8110
(Stamford area) (203) 357-0720

The Charter Oak Pass provides access to the State Parks and Forests and is available free to Connecticut residents, 65 years of age or older.

The pass is accepted at all day use areas where a parking fee applies. Presenting it allows free access for the entering vehicle and passengers. The pass holder does not have to be the vehicle driver.

Free admittance is also provided for the Charter Oak pass holder when visiting Gillette Castle, Dinosaur or Fort Trumbull State Parks. All other visitors, however, will be required to pay the appropriate fee.

Please note that each pass is issued to a specific person and can only be used when presented by that individual. The passes are non-transferable. They are not valid for camping or special events having separate admission charges and may not be used for commercial purposes.

To Apply by Mail - Send a LEGIBLE photocopy of your current CT drivers license or other legal proof of age and residency to: DEEP Charter Oak Pass, State Parks Division, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127. (Phone 860-424-3200)

To Apply in Person – A pass may be obtained in person at the following locations: Proof of residency and service connected disability status required:

WESTERN CONNECTICUT EASTERN CONNECTICUT
DEEP State Parks Division
79 Elm Street, Hartford
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 424-3200
DEEP Eastern District H.Q.
209 Hebron Road, Marlborough
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 295-9523
DEEP Western District H.Q.
230 Plymouth Road, Harwinton
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 485-0226
DEEP Marine Headquarters
333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme
Monday - Friday / 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
(860) 434-6148
Dinosaur State Park
West Street, Rocky Hill
9:00 am - 4:30 pm - closed Mondays
(860) 529-5816
Quinebaug Valley Hatchery
Cady Lane, Central Village
Monday - Friday / 10:00 am - 3:00
(860) 564-7542
Kellogg Environmental Center
Office of Communications and Education
500 Hawthorne Avenue, Derby
Tuesday - Saturday / 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
(203) 734-2513
Fort Griswold Battlefield St. Park
Park Avenue, Groton
(Memorial Day through Labor Day)
Wednesday-Sunday / 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
(860) 445-1729
Sherwood Island State Park
Summer Months Only at Ticket Booth
Exit 18 off I-95, Westport
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - Sunset
(203) 226-6983
Fort Trumbull State Park
90 Walbach Street, New London
(Memorial Day through Columbus Day)
Wednesday-Sunday / 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
(860) 444-7591
Harkness Memorial State Park
275 Great Neck Road, Waterford
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 443-5725
Hammonasset Beach State Park
1288 Boston Post Road, Madison
P.O. Box 271
Monday-Friday/ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(203) 245-2785

To prevent unwanted telephone sales calls sign up for the Do Not Call List and Registry. To register, select this link here: https://www.donotcall.gov/default.aspx or call toll-free from the phone you want to register: 1-888-382-1222. Registration is free and does not expire. Cell phones and fax machines can also be registered.

Learn how to protect yourself from Consumer Fraud and Scams that target Senior Citizens. Visit Connecticut’s new website SmartConsumer: http://www.smartconsumer.ct.gov/smartconsumer/cwp/view.asp?a=4401&q=516584 to protect yourself today!

You can also learn about common scams frequently used to target seniors by visiting the Department of Consumer Protection here: http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=1629&q=504304

The Department of Consumer Protection’s mission is to protect consumers. They do not have the authority or resources to address every complaint. If they receive a complaint they cannot help with, they will try to refer it to the right federal or state agency, but that could significantly delay the time it takes for you to get the help you need.

How to File a Complaint with the Department

  1. If you have determined that the Department of Consumer Protection can help, download the appropriate Complaint form.
  2. Send us your complaint in writing with copies of all relevant documents. We cannot accept complaints by phone.
  3. Go to Contact Us at the top of your computer screen for our mail and email addresses.

Before sending them your complaint, please make sure it is one they can help with.

Some of the Complaints DCP DOES Handle:

  1. Home Improvement Contractor
  2. New Home Construction
  3. Professionals, Trades People or Contractors that should be licensed or registered with DCP. Click here for a list of our license types. (Note, lawyers and health care professionals are not licensed by us)
  4. Real estate agents, brokers and appraisers
  5. Frauds, scams, misrepresentations or misleading advertisements
  6. Prescription errors
  7. Gasoline and heating fuel issues. Note, we do not set prices for these products.
  8. Connecticut-based telemarketers and internet retailers

Some of the Complaints DCP Does NOT Handle:

  1. Automobile Repair: Unless your automobile repair issue qualifies you for the Lemon Law Program, you should send your complaint to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  2. Banking: The Department of Banking handles complaints against banks or other lending institutions, including mortgage lenders.
  3. Credit Cards: The Department of Banking handles complaints against credit card companies and others offering consumer credit.
  4. Debt Collectors: The Department of Banking handles complaints against collection agencies.
  5. Insurance: The Insurance Department handles insurance related complaints.
  6. Internet Retailers located outside Connecticut: DCP does not have the tools or resources to effectively assist consumers with complaints against internet retailers that do not have a presence in the State. DCP refers these complaints to the relevant state’s Attorney General or Consumer Protection agency. For national companies with stores in Connecticut, we can try to be of assistance. For a more rapid response, you may want to try going directly to the out-of-state consumer protection agency.
  7. Telemarketers located outside Connecticut: For “Do Not Call” violations from out-of-state callers, please send your complaint directly with the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry.

If you do not see your complaint listed in either section above, you can get more information by:

  1. Going to the DCP Complaint Forms page and see if your complaint is one of the common types we can or cannot help with.
  2. Checking out the DCP A to Z index. Look up words and topics that relate to your complaint to find out your next step.
  3. Visiting the DCP Programs and Services or Consumer pages, which list some of the major areas we regulate.

Veterans

Many federal agencies, state agencies, and private organizations within Connecticut work to help place veterans in long lasting sustainable careers. The following is a list of organizations that provide career services to veterans:

  1. CT Department of Administrative Services - http://das.ct.gov/fp1.aspx?page=104
  2. Connecticut Job Network - http://www.connecticutjobnetwork.com/jobs.asp?pagemode=20&pbid=0&keywords=&domain_state_code=CT&client_location_name_1=Connecticut&location_name_1=Connecticut&location_id_1=CT&location_type_1=S&qs_domain_id=63&location_radius_1=0&category_id=-1&x=28&y=10
  3. American Corporate Partners - http://www.acp-usa.org/
  4. Connecticut Department of Labor - http://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/veterans/default.htm
  5. USA Jobs - https://www.usajobs.gov/
  6. VET Central - http://vetcentral.us.jobs/vet_index.asp?stype=moc
  7. Goodwin College - http://www.goodwin.edu/pdfs/jobs/veterancoordinator.pdf

The Department of Defense Form 214 - Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214) is issued upon a military service member's retirement, separation, or discharge from active-duty military. To request your DD214 Click Here - http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/

The Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal is a military honor awarded to Connecticut residents who have served during times of conflict, from World War I to the present time.

Before you submit your application for the "Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal" please ensure you meet the residency requirements described in the statute below...

The Commissioner of Veterans' Affairs in conjunction with the Adjutant General shall award a ribbon and medal to each veteran who served in time of war, as defined in subsection (a) of section 27-103, and who either (1) was a resident of this state at the time he or she was called to active duty for such service, or (2) is domiciled in this state on the date of such award. The commissioner in conjunction with the Adjutant General shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, setting forth the process for designing the ribbon and medal, identifying veterans who are eligible for the ribbon and medal under this section and establishing procedures for distributing the ribbon and medal to each eligible veteran. The cost of the ribbons and medals shall be paid from the funds appropriated to the military assistance account within the Military Department. Within existing budgetary resources, awards under this section may be made posthumously for veterans who died on or after January 1, 2000.

Application for Connecticut Veterans War Time Service Medal - http://www.ct.gov/ctva/lib/ctva/2010revised_CT_Wartime_Medal_Application.pdf

Posthumous Application for Connecticut Veterans War Time Service Medal - http://www.ct.gov/ctva/lib/ctva/VWSM_CTDVA_VM-Posthumous_Revision_6.09pdf.pdf

The Connecticut Veterans Resource Guide provides important contact information for veterans on a variety of services and programs made available to Connecticut’s Veteran Community. Download your copy here: http://www.ct.gov/ctva/lib/ctva/vets_resource_guide.pdf

The Connecticut Office of Advocacy and Assistance provides assistance to veterans, their eligible spouses and eligible dependents in obtaining veterans benefits under federal, state and local laws. Connecticut employs authorized Veterans' Service Officers to assist in the following:

  1. Collecting and preparing data relating to benefits and services for Veterans, their spouses and eligible dependents.
  2. Canvassing nursing homes to determine if veterans and/or spouses are due benefits.
  3. Assisting in the establishment, preparation and presentation of claims pursuant to rights, benefits or privileges accruing to veterans.
  4. Cooperating with service organizations in disseminating information.
  5. Furnishing counsel to veterans concerning educational training, health, medical, rehabilitation, housing facilities and services, and employment services.
  6. Representing veterans before the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) concerning claims and benefits.

For More Information link to the Office of Advocacy and Assistance here: http://www.ct.gov/ctva/cwp/view.asp?a=2014&q=290856

Connecticut offers a variety of tax exemptions and relief programs for our veteran community. To learn more about these programs and/or to see what you qualify for, please link to The Office of Policy and Management’s Question and Answer Booklet for the Homeowners’, Freeze, Totally Disabled and Additional Veterans’ Tax Relief Programs - http://www.ct.gov/ctva/lib/ctva/ownersVETERANPROPERTYTAX2011.pdf

The Disabled Veteran Pass provides access to the State Parks and Forests and is available free to Connecticut residents who have a service connected disability.

The pass is accepted at all day use areas where a parking fee applies. Presenting it allows free access for the entering vehicle and passengers. The pass holder does not have to be the vehicle driver.

Free admittance is also provided for the Disabled Veteran Pass holder when visiting Gillette Castle, Dinosaur or Fort Trumbull State Parks. All other visitors, however, will be required to pay the appropriate fee.

Please note that each pass is issued to a specific person and can only be used when presented by that individual. The passes are non-transferable. They are not valid for camping or special events having separate admission charges and may not be used for commercial purposes.

To Apply by Mail - Send a LEGIBLE photocopy of your current CT drivers license or other legal proof of residency AND your VA card or VA Benefits Letter indicating a service connected disability to: DEEP Disabled Veteran Pass, State Parks Division, 79 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106-5127, for more information please call (860) 424-3200.

To Apply in Person – A pass may be obtained in person at the following locations: Proof of residency and service connected disability status required:

WESTERN CONNECTICUT EASTERN CONNECTICUT
DEEP State Parks Division
79 Elm Street, Hartford
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 424-3200
DEEP Eastern District H.Q.
209 Hebron Road, Marlborough
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 295-9523
DEEP Western District H.Q.
230 Plymouth Road, Harwinton
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 485-0226
DEEP Marine Headquarters
333 Ferry Road, Old Lyme
Monday - Friday / 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
(860) 434-6148
Dinosaur State Park
West Street, Rocky Hill
9:00 am - 4:30 pm - closed Mondays
(860) 529-5816
Fort Griswold Battlefield St. Park
Park Avenue, Groton
(Memorial Day through Labor Day)
Wednesday-Sunday / 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
(860) 445-1729
Kellogg Environmental Center
Office of Communications and Education
500 Hawthorne Avenue, Derby
Tuesday - Saturday / 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
(203) 734-2513
Fort Trumbull State Park
90 Walbach Street, New London
(Memorial Day through Columbus Day)
Wednesday-Sunday / 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
(860) 444-7591
Harkness Memorial State Park
275 Great Neck Road, Waterford
Monday - Friday / 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(860) 443-5725
Hammonasset Beach State Park
1288 Boston Post Road, Madison
P.O. Box 271
Monday-Friday/ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(203) 245-2785

Legislative Process

During the legislative session, the bill status information room (860-240-0555) can tell you how far a bill has progressed through the legislative process. The Connecticut State Library can provide this information during and between sessions (860-757-6550).

If you know the number of a bill you are looking for, you can access information online by visiting cga.ct.gov and clicking on the "Bills" tab at the bottom on your screen to access the "Quick Bill Search." Enter in the bill number with the appropriate year.

If you want to find bills proposed for a particular area of interest, visit cga.ct.gov and go to "Bill Info" on the menu bar. Select "Bills by Subject" and click on the first letter of the topic you are looking for (for example, click on "C" for Child Services). A list of topics will appear on the page you can select from.

A great way to make your voice heard at the state Capitol is to testify at a public hearing. CT's legislature holds hundreds of public hearings throughout the year to give the public a chance to comment on proposed bills, current policies and to share new ideas. The Capitol may seem intimidating, but testifying is meant to be open and welcoming to everyone. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Get to know the sign up process. Most hearings take place at the Legislative Office Building, located at 300 Capitol Ave. in Hartford. The hearings will have signup sheets outside of the hearing room at least one hour before the hearing starts in the state Speakers are usually taken in a "first come- first served" order - so plan to arrive early to sign up early. To find a room number for a public hearing, grab a copy of the Daily Bulletin. TV screens around the Legislative Office Building also provide information.
  2. Keep your testimony focused. Speakers are usually given 3 minutes to speak. Remember to bring multiple copies of your testimony to hand out to legislators. Hearings can be very long, and legislators may come and go. Remember that all your testimony will be recorded and shared with lawmakers after the hearing as well.
  3. Speak clearly. When it's your turn to speak at the microphone, sit at the speaker's desk, state your name and address the chairs of the committee. You can read directly from your written testimony or summarize in short remarks. After you speak, remain at the microphone for a moment, in case committee members want to ask questions. Then return to your seat or leave the hearing.
  4. If you can't testify in person, you can usually email in written testimony.

Visit the "Citizen's Guide" for more info: cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/citizen.asp

To submit testimony on a bill for a public hearing, you can submit copies during the hearing sign up process. If you cannot attend a hearing but wish to submit testimony, often individual committees will accept testimony at a designated committee email address as indicated in the Daily Bulletin. If you are unsure of where to send your testimony, please contact your local legislator's office for assistance.

Senate Republicans - 860-240-8800
Senate Democrats - 860-240-8600
House Republicans - 860-240-8700
House Democrats - 860-240-8500

The Daily Bulletin gives lots of important information about hearing schedules, locations, bill numbers and more. You can get a bulletin in the Legislative Office Building's ground floor bill room during regular sessions or on the General Assembly's internet site (www.cga.ct.gov).