Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund
At a Glance
GERALD F. DIERMAN, Administrator
John D. Monahan, Assistant Administrator
Established – 1919
Statutory authority – CGS Sections 27-138 – 27-140
Central office – 101 South Street,
West Hartford, CT 06110
Average number of full-time employees – 15
Recurring operating expenses - $1,139,515
Capital outlay - $5,514
Organizational structure – Administrator 1, Assistant Administrator 1, Fiscal Administrative Officer 1, Veterans Aid Investigator 5, Secretary II 1, Secretary I 2, Office Assistant 2, Financial Clerk 1, Clerk Typist (PT) 1.
The Soldiers’, Sailors, and Marines’ Fund, established by the General Assembly in 1919, was intended to provide temporary assistance to needy World War I veterans, their dependents and survivors. The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund was established by a Trust fund and was augmented from time to time by ˝ cent, per pack, tax on cigarettes; however, the Fund has been self-sustaining since 1960, and the purpose of the Fund remains unchanged. The authorized capital of the Fund is $35,000,000 and the present principal of the Fund is approximately $57,317,956.
On June 30, 2002, the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund completed its 83rd year of providing assistance to needy Connecticut war veterans and their dependents. Total award payments this year amounted to $1,829,936. This is an increase of $7,018 over the previous years awards.
The earnings of the Trust fund are the only funds available to carry out the stated purposes of Section 27-140, and this necessarily imposes limitations as to the sum and scope of aid. Approved aid is in set amounts over temporary periods, within approved standards, as is reasonably necessary to permit the applicant, the local community, or state or federal agencies to provide or develop resources necessary to address the full extent of the need.
Policy, procedures and standards of eligibility are adopted by the State Fund Commission and the Trustee of the Fund. These regulations are provided to every town and city clerk and are also provided to local Fund Representatives throughout the state.
Prior to September 11, the economy recovery and economic development has eased the strain on requests for assistance from this agency. However, post 9-11 has created many pockets of unemployment and unacceptable living standards within sections of our state.
Substance abuse levels continue, consequently imposing a hardship on the families of those veterans.
This year many of our applications are, again, Vietnam War era veterans. We anticipate the State Legislature approving changes in wartime status to accommodate those veterans called up to support the military action in Afghanistan.
Information Reported as Required by Statute
Section 27-140 of the General Statutes requires quarterly reports of activities of the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund, including an accounting of the Fund’s disbursements, be submitted to the State Treasurer. Of the $1,829,936 awarded to needy veterans, $360,647 was provided for food, clothing and shelter, to those applicants who lost all or most of their income.
Payments for inpatient hospital care, emergency room and other medical expenses were $703,872. Emergent authorizations for fuel, utilities, mortgage interest, rental, food and clothing amounted to $669,528. Burial expenses continued to be high due to aging World War II and Korean veteran population, and amounted to $95,890. In addition, $247,500 was provided to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the purpose of providing headstones and other burial expenses.
We continue to offer financial assistance, counseling, referrals and guidance to a large number of veterans and their dependents, relative to the development of other and more permanent sources such as: Social Security Benefits; Veterans Administration Compensation and pension; Aid to Dependent Children; Women, Infants and Children; Title XIX; Workers’ Compensation; Connecticut Assigned Claims, Husky Insurance and other potential resources of income or assistance. When appropriate, referrals for participation in ConnPACE prescription program and Husky Insurance for children were made.
We continue to conduct seminars and to disburse information in conjunction with veteran counseling programs, local and state agencies, programs organized by various veteran organizations, hospital administrators and labor unions.
We continue to participate in outreach programs for regional Veterans Benefits and Service Fairs.
Branch offices are maintained in Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwich and Waterbury. The Bridgeport representative services the City of Stamford, one day a week. A Veterans’s Aid Investigator staffs each office and three have clerical assistance. Over 150 American Legion volunteer Fund Representatives service the remaining cities and towns.
The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund is committed to the principle of Affirmative Action. The Administrator of Affirmative Action Officer have devoted a considerable amount of time in formulating and gaining the approval of our agency plan as required by regulations. The policy of the Fund is to insure that all qualified current and prospective employees are guaranteed an equal opportunity in all matters of employment, regardless of race, religious creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, mental retardation or mental disorder, physical disability, blindness, marital status, criminal record, sexual orientation, or political beliefs. In addition, no person is excluded from participating in, or denied benefits of, or otherwise discriminated against under any program on the grounds of race, color, age or national origin. This agency has designated an Affirmative Action Officer, and administrators, to promote and disseminate to all employees and other entities the agency’s commitment to implementing the State Code of Fair Employment Practices and all provisions of the General Statutes referring to Affirmative Action.