Basic Needs


Description: The Department of Social Services administers many benefits programs in the State of Connecticut. For a full list of these programs, see below. 

Language(s) Spoken: English and Spanish but will find other interpreters as needed.

***Note – Due to staffing shortage, you may not be seen by the intake worker on the day you come in. However, you are encouraged to fill out an application and leave it with the reception staff, so your case can be assigned to an intake worker.  You will be contacted by that worker and your application date is protected (that is, you are considered to have applied on the day you handed in your application).

Transportation Assistance Available: None

Referral/Drop In: Drop in

Documentation Needed Prior to Entry:  Identification and Proof of Address. (Other documentation, such as proof of income, may be needed for certain programs.)

Pre-Release Application: Can request an application through the Department of Corrections (DOC), which DOC will deliver prior to release, or can request an application by calling 855-626-6632 and mailing it to:

Place: 62 Commercial Blvd, Torrington, CT 06790

Contact: Phone: 860-496-6900 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Food assistance program, including an expedited program for which recently released individuals and others may be eligible (see details below).
Qualifications: Monthly income limits are: $1,670 for a 1-person household, $2,247 for a 2-person household,
$2,283 for a 3-person household, and $3,400 for a 4- person household. No asset test for most households.
Application Information: Also available online at
Note: If you have just been released from incarceration you should be eligible for the EXPEDITED SNAP PROGRAM, which means that you should receive an EBT card within seven business days of handing in your application (be sure to hand in your application even if the Thames Street intake has closed for the day). Ask a staff person or supervisor at DSS for more information.
Medicaid LIA (Formerly SAGA Medical): Medical assistance to low-income persons who do not qualify for or who are awaiting eligibility determination for other state or federal program.
Qualifications:  The income limit for an individual is
$506.22. The assets of a household must be less than
$1000, and $4,500 car equity are excluded. Home property is excluded. Lien is placed on home.
Application Information: Participants may call 1-866- 361-SAGA (7242) for more information about covered services and referral to medical providers.
Medicaid LIA (Formerly SAGA Medical): 
Saga Cash: Cash assistance to individuals who are unemployable due to physical and/or mental impairment
Qualifications: Determination for eligibility by Department’s disability examiners.
Jobs First Temporary Family Assistance: Cash assistance to families with children, up to $550 per month for a family of three.
Qualifications: Either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19, and have very low income, be unemployed, or about to become unemployed.