OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 391

AN ACT EXPANDING ACCESS BY VETERANS TO PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS.

SUMMARY:

To the extent allowed by federal law, this bill directs the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner to disregard a veteran's or surviving spouse's federal Aid and Attendance Pension (AAP) benefits when calculating income for certain means-tested assistance programs.

He may apply to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for a state plan amendment or waiver from federal law if necessary.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

AAP PROGRAM FOR VETERANS

Under state law, a veteran is any person honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service in the armed forces (the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy).

The AAP program assists single and married veterans and surviving spouses who need regular assistance with such things as dressing, bathing, cooking, taking off prosthetics, and leaving home.

The program provides monthly cash benefits of up to $ 1,704 for single veterans, $ 2,020 for couples, and $ 1,094 for surviving spouses.

STATE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Under the bill, the DSS income disregards would apply to the:

1. State-Administered General Assistance (SAGA cash) program;

2. Medicare Savings programs;

3. Connecticut Pharmacy Assistance for Elders,

4. Medicaid,, including Medicaid for Low Income Adults programs;

5. Connecticut Home Care Program for the Elderly (CHCPE),

6. Personal Care Assistance Pilot Program under CHCPE,

7. State Supplementation to the Supplemental Security Income Program, and

8. Fuel and Weatherization Program

COMMITTEE ACTION

Human Services Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

16

Nay

0

(03/22/2012)