Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund

On Wednesday, March 6, 2013, the State of Connecticut General Assembly established the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Program and Fund.

The Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund will be funded through private donations and provide support to volunteer and professional workers who are suffering from mental health issues as a result of the tragedy. Traditional workers compensation does not currently cover most workers for exclusively mental injuries

PURPOSE

This bill established a mechanism for providing financial support to certain volunteer and professional workers who, as a result of work performed during or in response to the mass-shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, have suffered from or continue to suffer from mental health issues.  Qualified individuals may include teachers and staff employed at Sandy Hook Elementary School at the time of the tragedy, as well as police officers, firefighters, medical examining staff, and other emergency and public safety personnel who responded to the shooting.

STRUCTURE & ADMINISTRATION

The bill created the Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Program ("Program"), which will be funded by the newly created Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund ("Fund").  The program is operated by the state Office of Victim Services with the fund maintained by the state Treasurer.

Charitable organizations such as the United Way of Western Connecticut have been asked by the state to solicit and accept donations for disbursement to the fund.  Gifts, donations and grants will constitute the primary source of funding for the program.

BENEFITS

Qualified volunteer and professional workers will be eligible to receive financial resources in order to obtain mental health services and treatment.  They may also be eligible to receive compensation for days they are unable to work for mental health reasons.  All financial assistance to program beneficiaries is contingent upon the Fund receiving adequate funding in the form of gifts, donations and grants.

To donate to the fund, please send check payable to

"Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund"

And mail the donation to:

United Way of Western Connecticut

Sandy Hook Workers Assistance Fund

85 West Street

Danbury, CT 06810