GERALD F. DIERMAN, Administrator
Statutory authority – CGS Sections 27-138 - 27-140
Central office - 101 South Street,
West Hartford, CT 06110
Average number of full-time employees - 13
Recurring operating expenses - $1,089,305
Capital outlay - 0
Administrator 1, Assistant Administrator 1, Fiscal Administrative Officer 1, Veterans Aid Investigator 5, Secretary II 1, Secretary l 2, Office Assistant 1, Financial Clerk 1.
Value of real property - n/a
Average number of inmate, students or patients - n/a
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 1/2 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 $59,073,301.
On June 30, 2004, the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund completed its 85th year of providing assistance to needy Connecticut war veterans and their dependents. Total award payments this year amounted to $1,825,254. This is a decrease of $18,273 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.
While the Connecticut economy continues to recover, request for assistance remains high. The Fund provided 2,798 weeks of assistance to replace lost income.
Medical assistance for those who have no medical insurance or are underinsured continues to be one of the highest areas of assistance that we provide.
Viet Nam Veterans as a group are the largest users of the Fund. This past year, the fund has been made available to those returning from Iraq as well as those Connecticut Guardsmen called up in support of homeland security.
Conn. Gen. Statutes Sec. 27-140 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 $1,825,254 awarded to needy veterans, $412,569 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 $484,217. Emergent authorizations for fuel, utilities, mortgage interest, rental, food and clothing amounted to $816,010. Burial expenses amounted to $66,512. In addition, $223,452 was provided to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for the purpose of providing headstone placement. In addition, $268,036 was appropriated to fund burial details by the Military Department.
The Fund will 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.
The Fund will continue, as necessary, to conduct seminars and to disseminate information in conjunction with veteran counseling programs, local and state agencies, programs organized by various veteran organizations, hospital administrators, labor unions and legislators.
The agency participates in outreach programs for regional Veterans Benefits and Service Programs, when requested.
Branch offices are maintained in Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Norwich and Waterbury. Each office is staffed by a Veterans’ Aid Investigator and one has clerical assistance. The remaining cities and towns are serviced by over 150 American Legion volunteer Fund Representatives.
The Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund is committed to the principle of Affirmative Action. The Administrator and Affirmative Action Officer have devoted a considerable amount of time in formulating and gaining the approval of the agency’s 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 is 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.