CT Paid Leave
3 min readFeb 6, 2024

Feb 29th is Rare Disease Day

CT workers can access income replacement for intermittent or continuous blocks of time

Hartford CT — The Connecticut Paid Leave Authority (CTPL) today reminded Connecticut residents that paid leave benefits are available to those struggling with rare diseases. A rare disease is defined as any disease affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States.

“February 29th is Rare Disease Day so we want to make sure that those Connecticut workers who suffer with a rare disease, or their loved ones, know that they may be eligible for income replacement when they take time to seek treatment and recovery,” said CT Paid Leave CEO Erin Choquette. “One of the good things about the program is you can receive income replacement benefits for either a continuous block of leave or you can use it for intermittent leave for things such as doctor’s appointments, for example.”

25 to 30 million Americans are living with one of 7,000 identified rare diseases. 72 percent of all rare diseases are genetic, while others are the result of infections, allergies and environmental causes or are rare cancers. Many who have been diagnosed with a rare disease struggle to obtain the right diagnosis because they might have common and seemingly unrelated symptoms, an unusual presentation of a known rare condition, or the clinician may not have the knowledge or experience to diagnose their disease. Finding appropriate treatment can also be challenging.

“There are as many as 30 million Americans living with rare diseases, which are conditions affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. For them, the doctor’s visits may not end, or treatments may not be available — or even exist,” said General Assembly Public Health Committee Co-Chairs Senator Saud Anwar and Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey. “In an already stressful time, one that can put strain on families, negatively impact mental health and cause constant frustration, paid leave allows for focus on recovery and care without needing to balance work and appointments. By receiving a portion of weekly wages, depending on salary, there is a reduced need to work through arduous conditions, whether they be the direct symptoms of a condition or the stress, concern and worry in caring for a loved one suffering. Those facing rare diseases, and their loved ones, need all the aid available to them.”

To apply for paid leave online, workers will first need to create an account with CT.gov. This will provide the applicant with a single identity and will take approximately 10 minutes. The applicant can then submit their claim online. Claims may also be filed by phone by calling (877) 499–8606. Hours of operation for a live representative are 8 AM to 8 PM ET, Monday through Friday.

To learn more about Rare Disease Day and how you can help, visit https://www.rarediseaseday.org/.

For more information about CT Paid Leave and how to apply, please visit www.ctpaidleave.org.



CT Paid Leave

CT Paid Leave’s mission is to provide employees with pathways to accessible paid family leave benefits.