Welcome to the website of Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (“DRCT”), a new independent, nonprofit organization established to be the successor entity to Connecticut’s Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities which was abolished by Connecticut law as of June 30, 2017.  We are a statewide organization largely funded by federal entities and authorized by the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, Rehabilitation Act and Social Security Act. DRCT opened its doors on July 1, 2017 and is hoping to hear from you!


We Want Your Input

DRCT Focus Areas for 2020/2021

Please take a few minutes and share your knowledge and experience by completing the attached survey. This is your opportunity to tell Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT) how to use its resources to better serve the disability community in Connecticut. DRCT will use your responses, in conjunction with others, to assist in determining our focus areas for 2020 and 2021.  

If you would like assistance in completing this survey or would rather speak to a staff member directly to provide your input, please contact us. To see our current focus areas, or to obtain a copy of the survey go to https://www.disrightsct.org/focus-areas.

Click here to complete the survey online.


We are Hiring: Staff Attorney Position

Deadline May 31, 2019 4:00 p.m.

The position of Staff Attorney advocates on behalf of children and adults with disabilities. This position reports to the Legal Director of Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (“DRCT”). Applications must include: (a) a letter expressing your interest in the position, your qualifications, and how you might contribute to the future of DRCT; (b) a current resume including the names and contact information of three references.

Materials should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Applications must be emailed to Catherine Cushman, DRCT Legal Director, by 4:00 PM on May 31, 2019. Her email address is Catherine.Cushman@disrightsct.org. Click here for the job posting.


We are Hiring: Lead Investigator

Deadline June 7, 2019 4:00 p.m.

The position of Lead Investigator provides leadership, direction, and overall day-to-day management of the Investigations Unit including the Social Security Representative Payee program. The Lead Investigator works under the direct supervision of DRCT’s Legal Director. Applications must include: (a) Cover letter indicating your professional and personal motivation for the job, how you meet the minimum qualifications and why you would be a good candidate, (b) Current resume, (c) Names and contact information of three references.

Materials should be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format by 4:00 PM on June 7, 2019 to Disability Rights Connecticut by emailing Mary Jane Keane, Office Manager, at maryjane.keane@disrightsct.org. Click here for the job posting.


Action-Oriented Resource Fair

Presented by Disability Rights Connecticut and the Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities

June 4, 2019 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Action-Oriented Resource Fair, presented by Disability Rights Connecticut and the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. On June 4, 2019 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Naugatuck Senior Center. Vendors will provide one-on-one consultations, assessments, and mini presentations. Featuring: Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut (BIAC), State of Connecticut Office of the Healthcare Advocate, Independence Northwest, Inc., New Haven Legal Assistance, ClearCaptions, Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, Disability Rights Connecticut, Western CT Area Agency on Aging, National Federation of the Blind, Griffin Hospital.

For accommodations and questions please contact Linda Mizzi at (860) 297-4300 ext. 116.


Disability Rights Panel

Pushing Back: Defeating Discrimination in Employment, Housing and Public Accommodations

This event features a panel of representatives from the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO), Disability Rights CT (DRCT), CT Fair Housing Center, and an activist from Connecticut's disability community. We will be exploring emerging trends in the area of disability discrimination law, and the rights and services available to all persons with disabilities.

CHRO Central Office, Conference Room C & D 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT 06103 Thursday, May 2, 2019 1:30 P.M. — 3:30 P.M.

Register at Eventbrite: http://tinyurl.com/y3m9m8qn

2.0 MCLE Credits ASL Interpreters Provided For accommodations and questions contact: Ronald A. Simpson (860) 541-3446


Public Forum Notice

We want to hear from you!

On August 20, 2019 representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS), Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Program will visit Disability Rights Connecticut for the State of Connecticut in Hartford.

SAMHSA/CMHS invites you to send written comments about the PAIMI Program services and activities conducted by Disability Rights Connecticut.

Please email your comments to PAIMI@samhsa.hhs.gov

Public Forum Notice Flyer. SAMHSA/CMHS invites you to send written comments about the PAIMI program services and activities conducted by Disability Rights connecticut. please email your comments to paimi@samhsa.hhs.gov

Public Forum Notice Flyer. SAMHSA/CMHS invites you to send written comments about the PAIMI program services and activities conducted by Disability Rights connecticut. please email your comments to paimi@samhsa.hhs.gov


WE ARE HIRING!

Lead Investigator

Disability Rights Connecticut is hiring for a Lead Investigator. Are you interested in disability rights? Do you have experience in advocating for the legal rights of people with disabilities? Do you want to be a part of shaping Connecticut’s new protection and advocacy system? Join our team. Click here to get a copy of the job description. Applications are due by 4:00 PM on April 12, 2019.


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Disability Rights Connecticut Launches New Program.

Disability Rights Connecticut (DRCT) launched a new program that monitors the activities of Social Security Representative Payees appointed by the Social Security Administration to manage the funds of Social Security Beneficiaries.

What is a Representative Payee? – If the Social Security Administration decides that a beneficiary cannot manage his or her benefits, they appoint a Representative Payee.  The main responsibilities of a Representative Payee are to use the beneficiary’s Social Security monies to pay for current and future needs and to save benefits not needed to meet current needs.  A Representative Payee can be a family member, friend or other “interested individual.”  An organization can also be a Representative Payee.

What Is DRCT Doing As Part Of Its Representative Payee Monitoring Program? – DRCT will be responsible for conducting monitoring reviews of individual and organizational Representative Payees.  DRCT staff will interview representative payees and review the finances to ensure the representative payees are following Social Security requirements. Each review will also include interviewing the beneficiaries to confirm that the Representative Payee is meeting their needs. The findings of each review will be reported to the Social Security Administration. 

Does A DRCT Review Mean There Is A Problem With Representative Payee?  - Not necessarily.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) designed the program as a method of randomly checking on Representative Payees to ensure they are meeting the needs of the Beneficiary. DRCT staff, however, can make recommendations to SSA for monitoring reviews if they learn of a situation where a Representative Payee may not be needing Beneficiary needs.

What If I Know Of A Situation Where A Beneficiary’s Needs Are Not Being Met?
If you know of a situation where a Representative Payee may not be meeting the Beneficiary’s needs, you can contact DRCT to discuss it with one of the Social Security monitoring staff.  They can be reached by calling (860) 297.4300 (local) or (800) 842.7303 (toll-free, in CT). Social Security Administration has to approve all reviews and therefore, DRCT cannot guarantee that it will review every situation.

Will DRCT Provide Any Other Services Under This Program?  - In addition to the reviews, DRCT may be asked to recommend corrective action. Staff will also make referrals for outside services, assist the Representative Payee improve management of beneficiary funds, and provide education to Beneficiaries and representative payees.

Further Questions?  - If you have questions about the Social Security Monitoring Program, please contact DRCT at (860) 297.4300 (local) or (800) 842.7303 (toll-free, in CT).