State Policies

Connecticut State Policies

State of Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services

Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS)

Policy Summary on Self-Employment:

Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) supports individuals to achieve an employment outcome of small business ownership. The process begins by determining whether the person has the strengths, abilities and resources necessary to be successful in the business venture and whether self-employment is consistent with the person’s unique priorities, concerns, capabilities, interests, and informed choice. If the BRS Counselor determines that the individual can be successful and small business ownership is consistent, the individual is, in most cases, referred to the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (CSBDC).

The individual must complete a Business Plan with the assistance Connecticut Small Business Development Center (or similar entity) - though BRS may provide technical assistance to help in the writing of the Plan- indicating that the CSBDC Counselor believes the venture to be economically viable.  The Business Plan must be completed and approved by the BRS Regional Director prior to developing the Individual Plan for Employment (IPE) and providing services. The BRS Regional Director or his/her designee determines that there is clear and convincing evidence that the business is likely to be successful within a reasonable period of time.

BRS may fund start-up costs such as business consultants, bookkeeping assistance, marketing, initial stocks, insurance permits, rent, utilities, telephone and postage. BRS can also provide technical assistance and other consultations services to conduct market analysis and develop business plans.

BRS has two levels of funding for business ventures:



BRS funding limit

Consumer Contribution

Expectation of net income above Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Substantial Gainful Activity after two years (SGA)


No less than 10% of BRS contribution

No expectation of net income above SSA’s SGA amount


No less than 10% of BRS contribution


These limits do not include costs of training, vehicle or work site modifications due to the person’s disability.

The consumer contribution can be cash, materials or in-kind labor. This requirement can be waived by the BRS Director or his/her designee if it is determined that such a contribution would cause an undue hardship or without such an exception the individual would not achieve his/her employment outcome.

A small business ownership case can be closed at the typical 90-day requirement, but BRS recognizes that small businesses often need to be open longer to ensure stability and success.