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Eligible for Food Stamps? Energy Assistance? Check the Calculator.

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 By Melinda TuhusContact
September 21, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A new free computer program is helping Connecticut residents determine whether they're eligible for a plethora of state and federal assistance programs. While funding has been reduced for many such programs, it's also true that many Nutmeggers are eligible for these programs and don't know it. Now the calculator can help them figure it out, according to Judy Feinstein, project coordinator for the Automated Benefits Calculator, or ABC.

"It looks at the programs and tells you what you could be potentially eligible for. And we divided it up into food and nutrition, cash assistance, medical, home energy and education."

The calculator is being developed by the Connecticut Association for Community Action (CAFCA), a network of 12 community action agencies around the state.

Feinstein says she has no estimate of how many children and adults in the state are eligible for various programs, but because of the poor economy and high unemployment, many people are now eligible who weren't before.

"People who didn't think they were going to have to apply for assistance now find themselves in a position where they are eligible, primarily for food stamps and for medical assistance."

She says the calculator is available in both English and Spanish, and can be used anonymously in either language.

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