BESB: Legal Benefits for Individuals in Connecticut who are Blind

Legal Benefits for Individuals in Connecticut Who are Blind

In accordance with State statute, residents of the State of Connecticut who are legally blind are eligible for the following benefits:

 

    a)   Property Tax exemption {house with money symbol}

A person who is legally blind in Connecticut is generally eligible for an exemption of $3,000 of assessed evaluation on his  property.  If the property is owned jointly with a spouse or is in the name of a spouse living with the legally blind person, the exemption would generally also be available (Sec. 12-81 [17] Connecticut General Statutes).

 

Public Act No. 85-165, passed by the 1985 Legislature, provides for a $2,000 exemption on a financial need basis in addition to the $3,000 exemption.  However, each town legislative body must first adopt the benefit for it to be available in that town.

 

Financial needs requirements are given “Provided the total of such person’s adjusted gross income as determined for purposes of the Federal Income Tax plus any other income of such person” is not more than $14,000 if such person is married or not more than $12,000 if such person is not married.

 

The Agency has sent letters to each town encouraging the adoption of this additional $2,000 benefit.

 

A copy of PA-165 is available from the Agency on request (1-800-842-4510 outside the Hartford area, 860-602-4000 in the Hartford area.)

    b)   Income tax exemption (effective 1/1/87)

A person who is legally blind is eligible for an {dollars and coins} extra standard deduction on his Federal Income Tax.  The Board of Education and Services for the Blind will issue a Certificate of Legal Blindness on request to persons on the Agency Register.  This Certificate can be submitted with the income tax forms as necessary proof of deduction. Contact your tax consultant.  There is no additional deduction for State Income Tax.

    c)   Identification Card (I.D. card)

A person who is legally blind is eligible to receive a “Connecticut Identification Card,” similar to a photo operator’s license.  This has proved useful for identification purposes.  Application should be made through the Department of Motor Vehicles (telephone 860-263-5700).

    d)  Fishing License

“No fee shall be charged for any sport fishing license issued under this {man with fishing pole} chapter to any person who is blind.  Proof of such blindness shall be furnished; in the case of a veteran, by the United State Veterans Administration and, in the case of any other person, by the State Board of Education and Services for the Blind”  (Section 26-29 Connecticut General Statutes).  The Board of Education and Services for the Blind will issue a Certificate of Legal Blindness on request to persons on the Agency register.  The Certificate should be taken to the Town Clerk who will handle the issuance of a license.

    e)   Travel

  1. Local Bus Discount - A person who is legally blind is entitled to travel for {bus} half fare on Connecticut Transit buses and other local bus systems under contract to the State.  AMTRAK offers a 15% discount from regular train fare.

  2. Metro North {train} Commuter Railroad - An individual with a disability can use the Connecticut Transit Handicapped I.D. discount card to receive reduced fares on Metro North.  If one does not have a Connecticut Transit I.D. card, applications can be obtained by calling 212-878-7294.

    f)     Parking Privilege {handicapped parking sign}

A person who is legally blind is eligible for a special parking identification card which permits use of places reserved for handicapped parking.  Applications are available from the Department of Motor Vehicles.  There is a $5.00 fee. A Certificate of Legal Blindness from the Board of Education and Services for the Blind can be used as proof of blindness.

 

If you apply for the special parking permit and currently hold a valid Connecticut operator’s license, the license must be surrendered to the Department of Motor Vehicles at the following address: DMV, Medical Qualifications Unit, Room 327, 60 State Street, Wethersfield, CT 06109-2510 (telephone # 860-263-5700).  If you are certified to be legally blind, you cannot hold an operator’s license.

What are CLBs? A CLB is a certificate of blindness issued after the person is registered with BESB. This document is on official letterhead and is signed by the Executive Director.

 

How does a person get one? Clients are informed about the availability of this certificate and the social workers can request it or the client can request on his own by calling Adult Services or Vocational Rehabilitation clerical staff.

 

Why would you need one?  To apply for extra exemption on income tax or an abatement on real estate tax.  For handicapped parking, a certificate can be enclosed instead of having a doctor sign the form.

 

A CLB can be used whenever proof of vision impairment is needed.  For example, when applying for a handicapped parking permit, a CLB may be used in lieu of a doctor's signature.

 

A CLB Certificate is issued to anyone who is legally blind and registered with BESB.





Content Last Modified on 12/27/2011 4:16:23 PM