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 ARE HIRING!
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.
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).
Disability Rights Connecticut will be closed from December 25, 2018 through January 1, 2019 for a Winter Break. We will return to the Office on January 2, 2019.
Partners in Policymaking Application Deadlines Extended to December 28, 2018
The deadlines for the Partners in Policymaking applications, both the traditional Partners in Policymaking for people with disabilities and family members, and Partners for Service Providers have both been extended to December 28, 2018. Please see below for more information about the programs.
Partners in Policymaking Applications are Available
Deadline is December 14, 2018
Don’t miss your opportunity to apply for the Partners in Policymaking Class of 2019. What is Partners? Partners in Policymaking is a nationally recognized program and is being used in over 30 states. Connecticut training is sponsored by the CT Developmental Disabilities Network, which consists of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities (CTCDD); Disability Rights Connecticut, Inc. (DRCT); and the UCONN University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, (UCEDD). Faculty for the training are employed by the agencies within the Network.
Classes cover topics such as the history of the disability movement; state & national policies affecting persons with disabilities; inclusive education; assistive technology; effective advocacy strategies; and the legislative process. Participants will receive a certificate upon completion of a project focusing on a disability issue.
Below, you will find the brochures and applications for our 2019 Partners in Policymaking class. Note that this year we are offering an opportunity for service providers to apply as well. There are two separate applications. Share them with those you think should apply for either class. Feel free to contact us with questions.
Application/Class 1 - Partners in Policymaking - A leadership training program for self-advocates who have a disability and their family members. Click Here for the Application
Application/Class 2 - Partners in Policymaking for Service Providers - Created specifically for professionals who work in the disability field, including service providers and administrators. Click Here for the Service Providers Application.