John D. Monahan, Deputy Administrator, Assistant Administrator
Statutory authority – CGS Sections 27-138 – 27-140
Average number of full-time employees - 13
Recurring operating expenses - $1,287,076
Capital outlay - $7,627
Organizational structure - Administrator 1, Assistant Administrator 1, Fiscal Administrative Officer 1, Veterans Aid Investigator 5, Secretary II 1, Secretary I 2, Office Assistant 1, Financial Clerk 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 ½ 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 $59,413,683.93.
On June 30, 2005, the Soldiers’, Sailors’ and Marines’ Fund completed its 87th year of providing assistance to needy Connecticut war veterans and their dependents. Total award payments this year amount to $1,778,165. This is an increase of $39,536 over the previous year’s 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.
The State Fund Commission and the Trustee of the Fund adopt policy, procedures and standards of eligibility. These regulations are provided to every town and city clerk and are also provided to local Fund Representatives throughout the state.
Plans are in place to reduce staff and overhead costs for the coming year. The effect will be to make additional funds available for awards to veterans.
Connecticut still ranks low in job creation. Consequently, weekly assistance has remained flat over the previous year.
Medical insurance still remains a critical issue for many veterans. Many are underinsured while many have no insurance. However, assistance was $428,615 down $147,504. This was a result of a decline of in-hospital care.
In addition with rising costs of fuel energy and utilities, assistance has increased emergent authorizations to $930,770, which is an increase of $179,000 over the prior year.
Vietnam era veterans continue to remain the largest users. We are seeing an increase in assistance to returning Gulf War veterans.
Information Reported As Required By Statute
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 $1,778,165 awarded to needy veterans, payments for inpatient hospital care, emergency room and other medical expenses were $428,615. Emergent authorizations for fuel, utilities, mortgage interest, rental, food and clothing amounted to $930,770.09. Burial expenses amounted to $70,420. In addition, $41,851 was approved to purchase eyeglasses, hearing aids, special shoes, etc. We provided $595 in miscellaneous assistance.
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. A Veterans’ Aid Investigator staffs each office 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.