“Renter’s Relief” checks are not ‘in the mail’

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (WTNH / Joe Sferazza)

Derby, Conn. (WTNH)– Thousands of Connecticut seniors and the disabled are feeling the after effects of the long state budget stalemate.

The annual “Renters Relief” checks that they usually get in October have still not been sent, and many seniors really need the help. If you or a parent are still waiting for a “Renters Relief” check, they are not in the mail, and probably won’t be until the end of this month.

Sixty-seven-year-old Linda Heston lives at Hallocks Landing senior housing complex in Derby, along with about thirty other senior citizens and most of them are still waiting for their “Renters Rebate” checks from the state.

Seventy-four- year old Pam Eckhardt, Linda’s neighbor, is also in the same boat.

The program is designed to help limited income seniors and the disabled by sending a check each year based on the amount they pay for rent and utilities. The checks usually arrive mid to late October.

“All of us elderly people count on this money that comes to us every year to either pay bills, to buy, you know, like I’m going to buy a bed with it,” said Linda.  Pam says she uses her checks “to pay my pending bills that have not been paid, and I’m tired of collection agencies calling me, and I was counting on it.”

It appears to be another problem blamed on the legislature for being so late in passing a budget, and in this case the Governor’s office says this is another error in the final budget plan that needs to fixed by lawmakers.

But legislative leaders are pointing the finger back at Governor Dan Malloy, saying they assumed the Governor’s budget office had already sent out the checks.  The Republican Leader in the Senate, Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) saying,  “Usually the Governor’s office sends out these checks mid October, maybe no later than the 28th of October. We assumed those checks were written but apparently for whatever reason, he did not send those checks out.”

But the good news is that the $13 million in funding that’s needed for this program is in the new budget.  The Governor’s office says it’s just stranded because there’s no authorization to send out the checks.

Legislative leaders say they plan to come back to Hartford before Thanksgiving to correct this problem so the checks can be issued before the end of November.

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