SAGA – State Administered General Assistance
SAGA (State Administered General Assistance) is administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS). SAGA provides cash to individuals who are unable to work for medical or other prescribed reasons, and to families that do not meet the blood relationship requirements of the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) program.
Eligibility: In order to qualify for SAGA cash benefits, individuals must meet the following requirements.
- Categorical Eligibility: Individuals must qualify as Unemployable, Short-Term Transitional or Long-Term Transitional.
- Unemployable: Individuals classified as Unemployable are determined by DSS disability examiners to have a physical and/or mental impairment that will prevent employment for six months or more. Individuals may also qualify as unemployable for the following documentable non-medical reasons: under age 16; over age 65; over age 55 and no work history in the previous 5 years; full-time high school student; needed in the home to care for an incapacitated spouse or child; needed in the home to care for a child under age 2; or, pending receipt of a state or federal means-tested program, e.g., State Supplement or TFA.
- Short-Term Transitional: Individuals classified as Short-Term Transitional must have medical documentation of inability to work for 2 – 6 months. Individuals must also have a recent work history in order to qualify under this category (earned at least $500 in each of 3 of the last 5 calendar quarters, or eligible to collect Unemployment Compensation during the previous six months).
- Long-Term Transitional: Individuals classified as Long-Term Transitional must have medical documentation of inability to work for six months or more. Work history is not required, however, all cases are referred to DSS disability examiners for a review of unemployable.
- Income Rules: There are also limits on the amount of “applied income” that can be received and still
be eligible. Applied income is the amount of the gross income that remains after deducting certain costs.
The monthly applied income must be less than the maximum SAGA benefit available to the individual.
- Asset Rules: The asset limit is $250 per person, or up to $1,000 for a family of four or more. DSS does not count the equity of an automobile as long as it is no more than $4,500. Any amount over $4,500 is counted towards the asset limit. Real property is subject to a lien or security mortgage.
- Citizenship: Applicants must be citizens or qualified aliens. Rules are identical to the TFA program.
- Third Party Benefits: Applicants and recipients must pursue all third party benefits (including SSI TFA) in order to qualify.
- Substance Abuse: Active substance abuser (drug and/or alcohol) are required to participate in treatment.
SAGA Cash Benefit Levels: Unemployables – up to $219 per month. Short-Term and Long-Term Transitional – up to $219 per month if applicant has a rental obligation or $55 if living rent free.
How do people apply for SAGA cash assistance?
Online—The fastest and easiest way to apply is online. Visit https://portal.ct.gov/DSS and click on the “Apply Now”
button. You can also use the “Am I Eligible?” feature to find out if you qualify for SAGA cash benefits
In Person—Visit any DSS Service Center to complete an application. Office locations can be found at https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/About-the-Department-of-Social-Services/Contact under the “Field Offices” tab, or you can call 2‐1‐1 to be referred to your nearest DSS office.
By Mail—To request an application, call the DSS Client Information Line and Benefits Center at 1‐855‐CONNECT (1‐855‐626‐6632); TTD/TTY 1‐800‐842‐4524 for persons who are deaf and hard of hearing. You can also print an application to complete by visiting https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/Search-Results?SearchKeyword=saga
TO FIND PROVIDERS IN CONNECTICUT’S COMMUNITY RESOURCES DATABASE:
Search by service name: General Relief
SOURCE: Connecticut Department of Social Services
PREPARED BY: 211/rj
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: June2020