Student Loan Debt Relief Application Now Open

October 19, 2022

View this email in your browser
Dear Neighbor,

It's shaping up to be a busy fall with visits around the district and many activities and events happening in Avon and Canton.
You'll see I hosted both the Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Senator Richard Blumenthal this week for wonderful visits to both towns. Please keep an eye below for events coming up ahead of Veterans' Day.
As you probably heard, the federal student loan debt relief portal is live and I've included information in the update so that if you qualify, you are able to apply ASAP. It's remarkable how many people I know who have reached out to say they have already applied and that it was an easy process.
Finally, information on a new absentee ballot application portal created by the Secretary of State is live and you'll find that information a little further down in the update.
Wishing you a great week,

Visiting Favarh's Canton Campus
I had a great time visiting the Farmington Valley Arc's (Favarh) Canton campus with Lt. Governor Bysiewicz earlier this week! We spent some time speaking with advocates about National Disability Employment Awareness Month and visited Favarh's new Adaptive Wellness Center, where we learned how Favarh supports over 100 individuals with disabilities in 15 community-based job sites. 
Avon Free Public Library Receives Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant
I was pleased to join US Senator Richard Blumenthal this week in visiting the Avon Free Public Library to congratulate them on receiving the 2022 Institute Museum and Library Services (MLS) Save America's Treasures Grant in the amount of $40,016. The library will use the grant to preserve and digitize 19th-century collections held by the Avon Historical Society. You can read more about this here.
Canton Senior Center Hosts Pre-Veterans Day Event
The Canton Senior Center is holding a pre-Veterans Day event on November 10 at 10 a.m. in the center's multi-purpose room. Claude S. Campbell, MS, MBA, an outreach assistance and military caseworker at Senator Chris Murphy's office, will speak about issues concerning veterans. Participants will be able to ask questions about survivors benefits, medals and awards, mental health, health care, IRS and taxes, passports, social security, and more. Coffee and light snacks will be served. To RSVP, please call 860-693-5811.
Pumpkin Recycling in Avon
The Avon Clean Energy Commission and Sub-Edge Farm are squashing food waste with pumpkin recycling! From November 5 through November 30, residents will be able to drop off their used pumpkins and gourds at Sub-Edge Farm, 199 Town Farm Rd, Farmington. The farm is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pumpkins and gourds should be unpainted and any other non-organic materials, like tealight candles, should be removed. Pumpkins will be used to enrich soils for the next season. Learn more about this here.
Student Loan Debt Relief Application Opens
Earlier this summer, the Biden Administration announced student loan debt relief, and I'm pleased to share that the application is now open!

The application takes about 5 minutes to complete and is available in English and Spanish. Applicants do not need to log in or provide any documents. Borrowers will have until December 31, 2023, to apply.  

Nearly 40 million Americans will be eligible for this relief. Individuals making less than $125,000 per year and couples earning less than $250,000 could qualify for up to $10,000 in relief. Borrowers who received a Pell Grant are eligible for up to $20,000 in loan forgiveness.

The debt relief only applies to loan balances you had before June 30, 2022. New loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2022, will not be eligible for relief. 

Student loan debt has anchored millions of Americans, preventing them from building wealth, contributing to their families, and engaging with their community. Borrowers' budgets have been further constrained by economic pressures resulting from the pandemic, geopolitical conflict, supply chain disruptions, and inflation.

This relief is a financial lifeline that could help many individuals and families across our state build a more stable future for themselves as student loan payments resume in January 2023.

Apply for Relief Here
Medicare Open Enrollment Underway
Medicare open enrollment began on Saturday, October 15. This is an opportunity to review your coverage and find out if you could save money on insurance. 

Residents who are 65 years and older have until December 7, 2022 to review coverage, compare plans, enroll in a new plan, and potentially save money. Coverage will begin in 2023. Click the button below to learn more about the Open Enrollment process and get started.

Learn More Here
If you need assistance choosing a plan during open enrollment, please call 1-800-MEDICARE. You can also call Connecticut's Program for Health Insurance Assistance, Outreach, Information and Referral, Counseling, Eligibility Screening (CHOICES) at 1-800-994-9422.

If you are not eligible for Medicare but need insurance coverage, the Access Health CT (AHCT) Open Enrollment period will begin on November 1. If you have experienced a qualifying life event where you lost your health insurance coverage, you can start the enrollment process prior to November 1. Learn more about AHCT Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment periods here.

CT to Participate in Pro Bono Legal Assistance Abortion Hotline

Our state will be participating in a pro bono Legal Assistance Abortion Hotline to provide free legal guidance and representation to patients and providers about their rights to access and provide abortion services. The legal hotline was created by New York Attorney General Letitia James and consists of a wide network of trained, volunteer attorneys. The legal hotline number is 212-899-5567. You can read more about the hotline here.

In addition to this initiative, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong will appoint a new Special Counsel for Reproductive Rights to lead the Office of the Attorney General in protecting abortion access and reproductive care in Connecticut and nationally. The Attorney General also released a legal overview and analysis of abortion law in our state, a Know Your Rights Flyer, and frequently asked questions.

These efforts build upon Connecticut's recent work to safeguard access to abortion care and reproductive freedom in our state. This session, I proudly supported a law that establishes protections for those seeking abortions and those who provide these services. The law also protects medical privacy for those seeking and providing abortion care, and expands eligibility to perform abortion care to include advanced nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, and physician assistants. 

SOTS Launches Website for Voters to Request an Absentee Ballot
Pursuant to Public Act 21-2, the Connecticut Secretary of the State has launched an online portal for registered voters holding a Connecticut driver's license to request an absentee ballot electronically. Voters can visit to start the process on their phone, tablet, or computer. This is a step towards modernizing Connecticut's absentee ballot application, which may make it easier for certain voters to cast their ballot. You can learn more about the portal here.

In addition, as a result of a law we passed this session, more voters will be eligible to apply for an absentee ballot. Voters are eligible to vote by absentee ballot if:

  • They are unable to go to their polling place on Election Day because of absence from their town for a period of time on Election Day;
  • Because of a sickness; or
  • Because of a disability.

The new, expanded eligibility includes voters who are unable to go to their polling place because of a sickness or physical disability of another person, or because of the continued presence of a sickness, such as the COVID-19 virus.
Click here for more information.


Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative

Forward to a friend | Unsubscribe from this list | Update subscription preferences