Properly fund Connecticut’s Independent Living Centers

CT’s 5 Centers seeking $1 million in new funding in FY25-26

Connecticut’s Independent Living Centers (ILCs) are non-residential community-based organizations, established by the federal Rehab Act in 1973 and expanded with additional state funding in 1987 to serve all 169 of the state’s municipalities.

Funding for Independent Living Centers has not kept up with inflation for decades, limiting the centers’ ability to provide services to the 600,000 people in Connecticut who identify as having a disability.

While the ILCs have received some increases, including a $233,000 increase in 2023, long term underfunding has left the Centers 35 percent behind inflation. As a result, the Centers have been forced to reduce service areas.

What is the mission of ILCs?

Independent Living Centers, whose staff is at least 51 percent people with disabilities, empower people with any disability to live, work and thrive in the community, providing five federally-required core services:

  •     Information and referral;
  •     Peer counseling;
  •     Individual and systems advocacy;
  •     Independent living skills training;
  •     Transition services for youth-to-adult and out of nursing facilities. (including Money Follows the Person)

The centers also assist people to obtain or maintain housing and employment, make all services available to people who are deaf or hard of hearing with dedicated staff who are fluent in ASL.

The Centers’ goal is to provide consumers with the support, training, education and tools they need to live independently and to fully participate in their communities.

The Most Recent Statistics

In December of 2023, the ILCs conducted a weeklong utilization survey of the five Centers and report the following findings:

  • The 53 full and part-time staff at the five Centers, working a 35-hour week, had a total of 1,530 available working hours during that week and served 243 consumers.
  • Centers operated at or beyond capacity, logging performance of services between 95 and 104 percent of available hours.
  • Work performed in three general areas breaks down as follows:
    • Direct consumer services:      54%
    • Community activities:             12%
    • Administrative                        34%
  • Between October 2022 and September 2023, the five Centers’ service areas broke down as follows. Out of 169 municipalities in Connecticut:
    • 20 municipalities – no consumers received services;
    • 95 municipalities – fewer than 10 people received services;
    • 5 urban areas – served 906 consumers.
  • Every Center has waiting lists for services, including a list of 64 people at one Center waiting for HIV-related housing supports.


At $1M Connecticut provides the lowest amount of state funding
compared to adjacent states.



New York




Rhode Island

(has only one CIL)

In 2016, the State Independent Living Council, a Governor appointed body, commissioned a US Census data-driven funding formula developed by the Indiana Business Research Center. The report concludes that $5.5 million is the true cost to fully fund CT’s ILCs, permitting them to meet the needs in the state, with a base level of state funding of $550K per center.

Services provided by Connecticut’s five Independent Living Centers help individuals live the lives they desire and deliver a substantial return on public investment.

  • In FY 21-22, when staff couldn’t even enter a nursing facility, the CILs transitioned over 100 people out of nursing facilities into the community, saving the state more than $8M and saving lives and improving the quality of life for those individuals.

  • The CILs helped hundreds of individuals avoid costly institutions.

  • By helping individuals across the state to get and keep jobs, the CILs are contributing to the economy by supporting employees who earn and spend money and pay taxes.

Fund the CILs an additional $1M