Working for Our Military & Veterans

illustration of medalsThe Senate Democrats are here to help you to navigate a wide network of support so that all active military personnel, veterans and military families receive the assistance they need and deserve. The State of Connecticut, the federal government, nonprofit groups and advocacy organizations offer services that benefit all veterans.

If you find this listing overwhelming and are not sure where to turn, call the Connecticut Veterans Info Line at 1-866-9CT-VETS (866-928-8387).

Another excellent resource is a Web site launched in November, 2012 at Veterans.ct.gov.

Please note: In the listings below, the colored and bolded names of programs and departments are usually links to specific Web sites.

Dedicated Veterans Departments

The state Department of Veterans’ Affairs offers six district offices to serve Connecticut’s veterans. Use the following links for directions to the regional office nearest you.

There is also a listing of service officers and related phone numbers at each district location.

The state Department of Labor’s Office for Veterans’ Workforce Development assists veterans with employment and training needs and offers vocational guidance and counseling services to disabled veterans. Use their Web site (linked above) for more information and to find a veterans representative in your area.

The Office of Military Affairs supports Connecticut’s military families and enhances quality of life and advocates for the state’s defense industry. Visit their Web site (link above) for more information, or call 860-270-8074.

The Connecticut Military Department is under the authority of the state Adjutant General and administers military funeral honors and the Wartime Service Bonus program. Visit their Web site for more information, or call 860-524-4953.

Employment, Education,
& Financial Assistance

STEP-Up for Vets
During our 2011 legislative session we created STEP-Up (Subsidized Training and Employment Program) and expanded it in 2012 to include the Unemployed Armed Forces Member Subsidized Training and Employment Program, or STEP-Up for Vets. The program provides financial incentives to employers who hire and train unemployed post 9/11 veterans. If you are an interested unemployed veteran, fill out the Job Seeker Inquiry Form. If you are an employer interested in hiring a veteran, fill out the Employer Inquiry Form.

Connecticut Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund
The Connecticut Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund provides temporary assistance to veterans and their families for needs including home heating assistance, help with rental payments, medical and dental expenses, home health aides and eye and ear care. Visit their Web page (linked above) or call toll-free 1-800-491-4941 for more information and eligibility guidelines. In 2007, the General Assembly increased the maximum benefits for National Guard members who served in combat zones.

Tuition Waivers for Vets
The State of Connecticut offers tuition waivers to the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut State University System and the regional community-technical colleges for qualified veterans interested in undergraduate and graduate study. Download more information on tuition waivers from the state Department of Higher Education.

Property Tax Interest Waiver
A new law passed in 2011 expands current law to mandate that towns waive the interest owed on property taxes for members of the military who are serving in Afghanistan. Until now, only Armed Forces members serving in Iraq or the Middle East qualify for this tax waiver, a geographic region that excludes Afghanistan.

Protecting Health-related Professionals
Legislation passed in 2007 extended, from six months to one year after discharge, the grace period during which the Department of Public Health must renew certain credentials that lapse while on active duty in the armed forces. It establishes the same grace period for Connecticut National Guard members whose credentials lapsed while they were performing military service ordered by the governor, and established a grace period during which certain other agencies, departments, boards, commissions and officials must renew credentials.

Connecticut Transition Assistance Advisor: 860-524-4908

Connecticut National Guard Foundation: 860-241-1550

Navy Marine Corps Relief Society: 860-694-3285

Honor & Recognition

The Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal (pictured at the top of this page) is awarded by the Connecticut Military Department to veterans who served in qualified military wartime, were honorably discharged and reside in Connecticut. Under legislation passed in 2008, veterans who passed away on or after June 30, 2005, are eligible for the medal posthumously. Use the link above for more information and application materials.

Veterans Driver’s Licenses — Legislation passed in 2012CT veterans' IDallows former members of the U.S. Armed Forces to apply to have their veteran’s status displayed on their Connecticut Driver’s License, with the added symbol of an American flag. To apply for the new license symbol, simply fill out an application and submit it along with proof of honorable discharge (such as a DD-214) to the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs, who will then notify the DMV on your behalf. This must be done at least 30 days prior to visiting a DMV or AAA office to allow time for processing.

Burial in the State Veterans’ Cemetery is available for veterans who served at least 90 days of active duty and were released from the Armed Forces under honorable conditions and who either entered the services or died as a resident of Connecticut. Thier spouses are also eligible for burial. Download an informational brochure on the cemetery (PDF file), located in Middletown.

The Legislature & Veterans Issues

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Select Committee on Veterans’ Affairs advocates for active-duty military personnel, veterans and military families in the state legislature.

Carlo Leone, Senate Chair
860-240-8467

Representative John “Jack” Hennessy, House Chair
860-240-8585

Health Care Services

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs has two health facility campuses and six community-based outpatient clinics available for Connecticut veterans.

  • Newington Campus: 860-666-6951
  • West Haven Campus: 203-932-5711

Errera Community Care Center, West Haven
Healthcare for Homeless Veterans: 203-479-8041

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: 1-800-827-1000

Support Services & Crisis Intervention

Federal Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services to all veterans who served in any combat zone free of charge. Services are also available for their family members for military related issues.

Connecticut has three Vet centers.

  • Hartford Vet Center: 860-563-8800
  • Norwich Vet Center: 860-887-1755
  • West Haven Vet Center: 203-932-9899

Connecticut’s Military Support Program offers free and confidential counseling to military personnel who are awaiting deployment to, currently a part of, or back home from Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to their families. The program provides group and individual sessions for marriage and family counseling, stress management, depression, child and youth issues and anxiety due to deployment, combat and homecoming. Call toll-free, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 1-866-251-2913.

The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services provides 24-hour crisis services in communities all across Connecticut. Use the link for locations and phone numbers.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (Veterans press 1)

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE

Brain Injury Association of Connecticut Helpline: 1-800-278-8242

Substance Abuse Resources

If you or a veteran you know is struggling with alcohol and substance abuse, help is available through state and national resources.

Connecticut Veterans Recovery Center: 860-721-5935

Connecticut Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services: 1-800-446-7348

National Substance Abuse Treatment Locator: 1-800-662-HELP

Focus on Recovery Helpline: 1-800-374-2800

Residential Services

The Connecticut State Veterans Home works to rehabilitate veterans with the ultimate goal of returning as many residents as possible to society as productive citizens, capable of independent living. Use this link for more information on the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Residential and Rehabilitation Services facility or call 860-721-5833.

Homes for the Brave, Bridgeport: 203-338-0669

Department of Veterans Affairs Homeless Program

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans: 1-800-VET-HELP

Veteran Service Organizations

The American Legion: 1-317-630-1200

AMVETS: 1-877-726-8387

Blinded Veterans Association: 1-800-669-7079

Disabled American Veterans: 1-877-I AM A VET (426-2838)

Jewish War Veterans: 1-202-265-6280

Military Order of the Purple Heart: 1-888-668-1656

National Resource Directory (an online partnership for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families and those who support them)

Non Commissioned Officers Association: 1-800-662-2620

Paralyzed Veterans of America: 1-800-555-9140

Veterans of Foreign Wars
General Information: 1-816-756-3390
National Service Officers Helpline: 1-800-VFW-1899

Vietnam Veterans of America: 1-800-882-1316

Wounded Warrior Resource Center: 1-800-342-9647

Recognizing & Helping Military Families

The Military Family Relief Fund provides grants in times of financial hardship for the immediate families of active-duty military personnel and of National Guard and Reserve members who have been mobilized for service in the Global War on Terror. For more information, call 1-860-524-4968.

College tuition waivers may be available for eligible children and surviving spouses of armed forces members killed in active military duty. Under legislation passed in 2008, such students may be eligible for tuition waivers to the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut State University System and the regional community-technical colleges. Download more information on tuition waivers (PDF file) from the state Department of Higher Education.

In 2008, Connecticut passed legislation that provides military spouses with unemployment benefits if they must leave a job due to military relocation. Visit the state Department of Labor online or call 860-263-6000 for more information.

In 2008, Connecticut joined the interstate compact on educational opportunity for military children, which is designed to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military families because of their parents’ frequent moves and deployment. Use the link above to learn more about the compact.

Connecticut’s Gold Star Family License Plate is available to families who have lost a loved one in active military duty and want to memorialize their fallen hero. In 2008, the legislature eliminated the fee for the plate, which is available from the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

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