Watch our video to maximize your SNAP benefit – shelter expense deduction

Welcome back to our weekly video series discussing ways you can maximize your SNAP benefits.  This week we’ll be discussing the shelter expense deduction.  This deduction takes into account your rent or mortgage cost as well as a set amount for utility expenses.  This total shelter expense deduction is factored in to reduce your countable income.  Remember, reductions in income equal an increase in SNAP benefits.The amount factored in for your rent or mortgage is limited to $624, unless your food stamps household contains an elderly or disabled member.  This means that in households with someone disabled or 60 years or older, the entire rent or mortgage can be factored in. This is an important deduction and could have a large impact on some households given the rise in housing costs and rents.  If your housing costs have increased be sure to report this to DSS as soon as possible.

Join us next week for our final video installment where we’ll recap the deductions we’ve already discussed and share other ways you can keep food on the table.

Watch the 3rd video in our 4 part weekly series

Bienvenido de nuevo a nuestra serie de videos semanales que analizan las formas en que puede maximizar sus beneficios de SNAP. Si tiene algún comentario, comuníquelos aquí en la sección de comentarios.

Esta semana discutiremos la deducción de gastos de vivienda. Esta deducción tiene en cuenta el costo de la renta o la hipoteca, así como una cantidad fija para los gastos de servicios públicos. Esta deducción total de gastos de alojamiento aplica para reducir su ingreso contable. Recuerde, las reducciones en los ingresos equivalen a un aumento en los beneficios de SNAP. La cantidad factorada para su alquiler o hipoteca está limitada a $624, siempre y cuando no haiga alguien en su hogar que reciba cupones para alimentos o haiga una persona de 60 años o más o alguien discapacitado. Esto significa que en los hogares con una persona discapacitada o de 60 años o más, se puede incluir la totalidad del alquiler o la hipoteca. Esta es una deducción importante y podría tener un gran impacto en algunos hogares dado el aumento en los costos y alquileres de la vivienda. Si sus costos de vivienda han aumentado, asegúrese de informar esto al Departamento de servicios sociales lo antes posible.

Únase a nosotros la próxima semana para nuestra última serie de video donde recapitularemos las deducciones que ya hemos discutido y compartiremos otras formas en las que puedas mantener comida en su mesa

ver video en español

The extra COVID SNAP benefit is ending watch our video to maximize your SNAP benefit

REMINDER: The extra COVID SNAP benefit is ending! Check out the video below for information on the childcare, child support, and medical deductions that can maximize your SNAP benefit.

Watch our 2nd video in our 4 part weekly series

RECORDATORIO: ¡El beneficio adicional de COVID SNAP está por terminar! Mire el video a continuación para obtener información sobre el cuidado de niños, la manutención de niños y las deducciones médicas que pueden maximizar su beneficio de SNAP.

ver video en español

Starting in March 2023 the extra COVID relief SNAP benefit will end

Starting in March the extra COVID relief SNAP benefit will end and only one SNAP deposit will be made. Over the next few weeks, we will be talking about ways that you may be able to maximize your SNAP.

Watch our 1st video in our 4 part weekly series.

A partir de marzo, el beneficio adicional de SNAP de alivio de COVID finalizará y solo se realizará un depósito de SNAP. Durante las próximas semanas, hablaremos sobre las formas en que puede maximizar su SNAP.

ver video en español

You might be eligible for a third stimulus payment of $1400

You might be eligible for stimulus payments, even if you don’t have a permanent address, income, job, or bank account.

Many people who don’t normally file a tax return and don’t receive federal benefits may be eligible to receive Economic Impact Payments (EIPs), also known as stimulus payments, but may not realize it. This includes those without a permanent address, income, a job, or a bank account.  In addition, a December 2020 law changed eligibility requirements for EIPs. Now, some people who don’t meet the Social Security Number requirements can get the third EIP for each qualifying dependent if those dependents have SSNs.


Eligibility: Income limits apply, but generally, people are eligible for the third EIP if they:

  • are a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien,
  • are not another taxpayer’s dependent, and
  • have an SSN that is valid for employment (for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit) or a valid SSN (for the third Economic Impact Payment).

Special rules apply to filers who do not have an SSN if they have qualifying dependents.


The third Economic Impact Payment amount is:

  • $1,400 for an eligible individual with a valid Social Security number ($2,800 for married couples filing a joint return if both spouses have a valid Social Security number or if one spouse has a valid Social Security number and one spouse was an active member of the U.S. Armed Forces at any time during the taxable year)
  • $1,400 for each qualifying dependent with a valid Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number issued by the IRS


Unlike the first two payments, the third payment is not restricted to children under 17. Eligible individuals will get a payment based on all their qualifying dependents claimed on their return, including older relatives like college students, adults with disabilities, parents and grandparents.


For more information on EIP eligibility requirements, visit Third Economic Impact Payment on


Eligible people can receive the third Economic Impact Payment by:

  • Using IRS Free File to file a Form 1040 for tax year 2020, or
  • Using the Non-filer Sign-up tool on, which can help people who don’t normally file a tax return get advance payments of the Child Tax Credit as well as Economic Impact Payments and the Recover Rebate Credit.


The FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a temporary monthly broadband bill discount for qualifying low-income households


  • Up to a $50/month discount on broadband service and associated equipment rentals
  • Up to a $75/month discount for household on qualifying Tribal lands
  • One-time discount up to $100 for laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)
  • One monthly service discount and one device discount allowed per household.

File Your Taxes for Credits Up to $15,000

Filing your taxes this year is a must!

If you don’t you could be missing out on thousands of dollars (up to $15,000) intended to help stabilize individuals and families during these tough times.



Read or Download Our Flyer




  • Did you receive any or all of the $600, $1200 or $1400 Stimulus Payments?

If you did, then you likely qualify.  If not, you may still qualify, but you need to file your taxes with the IRS

  • Did you have any earnings in 2020?

If so, you may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC)

-as much as $1500 if you do not have children OR up to $6000 if you have kids.

  • Do you have kids?

If so, you may qualify for $3,000 for each child ($3,600 if the child is under 6) through the Child Tax Credit (CTC) but you need to file with the IRS.




Example – A parent with 2 children under six without a job or other earnings would get: 1st Stimulus Payment : $1200+$1000 [$500 dependent x 2] = $2200 + 2nd Stimulus Payment: $600 x 3 = $1800 + 3rd Stimulus Payment: $1400 stimulus x 3 = $4200 + CTC $3600 x 2 = $7200   TOTAL: $15,400





Press Release Emergency Rental Utility Assistance Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Connecticut Legal Services joins with Greater Hartford Legal Aid, New Haven Legal Assistance, and Statewide Legal Services, in partnership with Connecticut’s Department of Housing, under Unite CT., a new state program to provide rental and utility assistance to qualified Connecticut households financially impacted by COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on our clients who already faced numerous challenges in meeting their basic needs,” Deborah Witkin, executive director of Connecticut Legal Services, said. “We look forward to working with our partners in Unite CT to ensure that our clients can maintain stable housing during one of the most destabilizing times our community has experienced. This program will help our clients begin to address the effects of the pandemic.”

Read the full press release


CLS leads the effort in filing a Complaint with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights on behalf of our low-income clients, people who are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and all other nonwhite racial identities in CT.


Read our press release OCR complaint Covid-19 Vaccine Discrimination




On March 8, 2021 attorneys with Connecticut Legal Services, Greater Hartford Legal Aid and New Haven Legal Assistance Association filed a Complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), on behalf of their low-income clients who are people who are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, and all other nonwhite racial identities in CT (BIPOC), including those with disabilities.  The complaint requests that OCR investigate Connecticut’s COVID-19 allocation plan that was announced on February 22, 2021 which violates Title Vl of Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, Title Il of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, by:


  • imposing eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine that discriminate against and unfairly burden nonwhite individuals protected by law;
  • refusing to reasonably modify its COVID-19 vaccine policy so that it no longer discriminates against nonwhite individuals and those with disabilities and pre-existing conditions.


Governor Lamont announced a change in vaccination allocation policy which now almost exclusively prioritizes age to determine one’s eligibility. The former policy took into account the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and followed the recommendations of CT’s own COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group’s Vaccine Allocation Subcommittee which prioritized people with underlying medical conditions and certain types of essential workers, such as grocery store and agricultural field workers, who were slated to be eligible for the vaccine on March 1st.  The new policy ignores those recommendations, and simply prioritizes age, with the exception of teachers and childcare providers, while continuing to include first responders and healthcare workers.


Data shows several things about CT’s BIPOC residents:

  • More likely to be working in essential jobs that regularly expose them to the virus
  • More likely to live in tightly cramped housing
  • More likely to use public transportation
  • More likely to have pre-existing conditions and comorbidities


“All of these factors contribute to Black and brown Connecticut residents contracting COVID-19 at higher rates, and dying of it at higher rates,” attorney Kristen Noelle Miller Hatcher of Connecticut Legal Services said. She added, “in fact, in CT Black and brown people are dying younger when they contract COVID-19, making it even more critical that the allocation of the vaccine not be done simply by age, and that they need to instead prioritize people with underlying conditions and with high risks of exposure- especially those fellow residents who need to go to their jobs and are unable to work remotely, as the state’s earlier plan appropriately provided.”