Shutdown Resources

FAQ: Federal Shutdown
 
At midnight on December 21st 2018, the federal government entered a partial shutdown, with the legislative and executive branch unable to come to a compromise on a funding bill for the federal government. The shutdown is currently affecting 800,000 federal employees, including 1,500 in Connecticut.
 
For more information from the White House on instructions to agencies for shutdown procedures, please see here. For information on specific agency shutdown plans, please see here.
 
If you are a federal employee furloughed or working without pay during the shutdown, or if you are working with an agency that has been affected by the shutdown, please see the resources below, or call our office at 860-549-8463 to discuss what our casework team can do to assist you.
 
Quick links:
 
 
Our casework team will keep this page of resources updated through the shutdown. If you belong to an organization listed here and you would like us to edit or remove your organization’s link, please call our office at 860-549-8463.
 
General assistance for furloughed employees
 
If you need help with housing, if you’re having trouble meeting your car payments, or are unable to pay for food and medication, Connecticut 211 may be able to help. 2-1-1 is the confidential, free, 24-hour a day, and multilingual way to locate of human services in your area.
 
CT Department of Labor has information for federal employees affected by the shutdown here. Federal employees can file for unemployment benefits if they are on furlough. Federal employees that are required to work during the shutdown, but are not getting paid, are not eligible to file for unemployment. 
 
New unemployment insurance claims for Connecticut must be filed online at www.filectui.com. If you have not filed for unemployment benefits in the past, the CT Department of Labor has a step-by-step breakdown of the process here. If you need in-person assistance with filing a claim, American Job Centers are open across the state. Contact your nearest American Job Center here.  
 
According to OPM, “For health benefits, enrollment continues for no more than 365 days in a nonpay status. The nonpay status may be continuous or broken by periods of less than four consecutive months in a pay status. The Government contribution continues while employees are in a nonpay status. The Government also is responsible for advancing from salary the employee share of premium. The employee can choose between paying the agency directly on a current basis or having the premiums accumulate and be withheld from his or her pay upon returning to duty.
 
For life insurance, coverage continues for 12 consecutive months in a nonpay status without cost to the employees or to the agency. The nonpay status may be continuous or it may be broken by a return to duty for periods of less than four consecutive months.”
 
Legal Assistance for Housing and Credit
 
If you are in danger of eviction, foreclosure, or repossession of a vehicle due to the shutdown, the agencies below offer legal resources that may be able to assist you.
 
Connecticut Fair Housing Center is dedicated to ensuring that all people have equal access to housing opportunities in Connecticut.
60 Popieluszko Court
Hartford, CT 06106
(860) 247-4400
(888) 247-4401 (toll free)
 
SLSC is a legal aid advice and referral center helping low-income people solve their legal problems.
Contact their toll free hotline at (800) 453-3320.  Hotline is open from 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon and 1-2 p.m. Monday-Friday
 
CLS is Connecticut's largest nonprofit law firm, dedicated to improving the lives of low-income people by providing access to justice.
CLS serves 122 communities across Connecticut. We have six full-service offices around the state. Find your nearest office here.
 
Connecticut 2-1-1 has resources available for those potentially facing repossession of property such as motor vehicles, furniture, appliances or other household goods
 
Financial Assistance
 
Wells Fargo and Bank of America have rolled out assistance programs to help affected clients grapple with banking and loan repayments. Below are sample letters furloughed employees can use to communicate with landlords and creditors. For more information on the types of assistance available, please see this article.
Sample letter to creditors
 
Furlough relief loans are available to furloughed employees during the shutdown through the Congressional Federal Credit Union, including relief lines of credit, personal loans, line of credit limit increases, and payment deferment on existing loans. For assistance with any of these please visit the website linked above or use the phone number 1-800-491-2328.
 
Other credit unions are also offering financial assistance and interest-free loans, including Navy Federal Credit UnionJustice Federal Credit Unionand the U.S. Employees Credit Union 
 
If you are a member of the American Federation of Government Employees, you may also be eligible for several financial benefits, including personal loans and credit counseling. For more information, please click here.
 
Charities
 
Community Soup Kitchen of New Haven invites any furloughed federal employees to come volunteer or visit for a hearty meal and CSK will send them home with a care package of excess donated food and staples for their families. CSK serves lunch 11:30am - 1pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. They serve breakfast  on Saturday 8:30am - 9:30am. 
 
Catholic Charities offers emergency financial assistance, education and employment programs, and family support. Call ahead to verify hours and available assistance. CCAOH has locations in Ansonia, Hartford, Meriden, Milford, New Haven, Newington, Torrington and Waterbury.
 
Child Care
 
More information for assistance for parents paying for child care and other family needs.
 
Care 4 Kids helps low to moderate income families in Connecticut pay for child care costs. This program is sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. For more information call 888-214-5437.
 
Through its Diaper Distribution Network, TBD provides free diapers to poor and low-income families in New Haven, Hartford, Fairfield, Middlesex, and Windham Counties.
 
Food assistance
 
CT Food Bank distributes food and other resources to nearly 700 community food assistance programs in six of Connecticut’s eight counties. Find your closest location here.
 
Food pantries are located in communities across Connecticut. Find the one nearest you here.
 
Energy Assistance
 
Operation Fuel partners with local government and community-based organizations at more than 100 sites in Connecticut to ensure that people in need have access to year-round energy assistance.
 
The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program has locations across the state is are accepting applications. See a list of Community Action Agency locations and contact phone numbers below. 
 
Agency
Area Covered
Energy Assistance #
ABCD
Lower Fairfield County
(203) 384-6904
 
Greater Norwalk
(203) 384-6904 ext. 3027
Access
Willimantic
(860) 450-7423
 
Danielson
(860) 412-1568
CAANH
Greater New Haven
(203) 285-8018
CAAWC
Greater Danbury
(203) 748-5422
 
Greater Stamford
(203) 357-0720
CRT
Central CT
(860) 560-5800
HRA
Greater New Britain/Bristol
(860) 356-2000
NOI
Greater Waterbury
(203) 756-8151
 
Greater Meriden
(203) 235-0278
TEAM
Lower Naugatuck Valley
(203) 736-5420
TVCCA
Southeastern CT
(860) 425-6681
 
Have we missed anything? If you would like to suggest a resource to be included in this page, please call our office at 860-549-8463.