Massachusetts disability benefits and assistance programs.

Residents with a disability in Massachusetts can explore programs ranging from cash assistance, medical care, food, to transportation and more. The state offers individuals access to a number of benefits, with a focus on low income families. They also work closely with other non-profit and federal funded agencies. Case managers and representatives from the state work with the disabled on satisfying their needs. Assistance is also available for their care givers and family members.

Massachusetts Office on Disability advocates for the disabled and provides information on other support services. Staff from the agency work to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunities, legal rights, social support services, and housing they need. They also work to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act in Massachusetts.

Referrals and linkage is from their Client Services Program. This helps individuals and their families who need help with disability-related problems. The Office on Disability runs a system to help residents find the government benefits and services they need. Information is for financial aid in a crisis, with the highest demand needs of energy bills, food, and housing assistance. 617-727-7440.

Job placement is from the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC). The agency helps people with disabilities live independently and find employment. The MRC assists Massachusetts residents age 18 and older. The MRC agency runs the Vocational Rehabilitation program (VR), Disability Determination Services (DDS), and something known as Community Services. Staff also assist with helping people apply for public benefit programs, transportation, housing, rent assistance and address consumer issues.

Another program available is the Independent Living Centers, which coordinate personal care management, advocacy, and offer clients independent living skills training. Or explore the Home Care Assistance Program for disabled adults under age 60 which provides them help with homemaking tasks.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission also runs the Assistive Technology Program. This provides and installs assistive devices and provides training for users. Representatives from MassMATCH can help people use this equipment. This can also be used as the individual seeks employment and retains their job too. Call 1-800-245-6543 to reach MRC.




Massachusetts Commission for the Blind provides social services and rehabilitation to legally blind residents of all ages. These benefits help people who are legally blind live independently in their own, existing communities.

Some of what is available for the blind includes Vocational Rehabilitation, such as the creation of individual plans for employment, restorative and training services, adaptive housing, and job placement. Technology and tools such as assistive devices, mobility instruction, and peer support groups. There is also orientation and mobility instruction, including guide dogs, provided by the Commission for the Blind.

Some of the more financial and medical care includes MassHealth services for financially eligible people, including hospital services, personal care attendants, long-term care services, private duty nursing, and transportation services. They will also assist with housing needs and job discrimination. 800-392-6450

Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing works on behalf of residents and families that has a member that is deaf, loosing this sense or that are currently hard-of-hearing. The agency offers programs, benefits, and advocates on their behalf. Clients can receive case management services, including specialized services for children as well as CART translation services. Other resources are independent Living Programs, including consumer education, peer mentoring, assistive technology, self-advocacy, and other living skills. Phone 1-800-882-1155.

Massachusetts Department of Mental Health runs support services, treatment programs, and offers other assistance for those with a disability. Benefits administered include outpatient services, supported employment, continuing care inpatient facilities, residential treatment centers, case management, in-home treatment, and job skills training. Call the Department of Mental Health at 617-626-8000.

Similar to above is the Department of Developmental Services (DDS), however they assist those with intellectual disabilities. The agency partners with many provider agencies and non-profits throughout the state to offer services to children, adults and their caregivers. Individuals can make decisions about their lives and in choosing the benefits they need. Get help with Employment skills training and transportation to work, low income housing options, Life skills training and support, and respite care. The main offices is in Boston, but services are across the state. Call 617-727-5608.

Free legal aid is from the Disability Law Center, which is a non-profit law firm that gives free legal assistance to residents with disabilities. Support is for those with a disability that have been discriminated against. It addresses concerns such as physical, sensory, psychiatric and cognitive. Get referrals to community services, help in applying for SSDI Disability benefits, and access to community services. 800-872-9992.




Cash assistance for the low income and disabled can come from different agencies. Some of the programs are offered by Massachusetts Department of Housing & Community Development (phone 1-800-632-8175) or the Human Services department (1-866-950-3663).

SSDI is a federal government funded insurance program that gives monthly cash benefits to the disabled who can’t work for a period of time. The state also offers funds for paying heating bills from LIHEAP, or low income energy assistance. Free or low cost medical and dental care is offered as part of Medicaid, and Human Services will also have information on local community clinics. Other assistance includes free food from SNAP vouchers, housing and rent assistance, transportation, and child care vouchers for the disabled. Other aid is available too.

Massachusetts programs for disabled from non-profits and government agencies

Brain Injury Association - Massachusetts
Address: 30 Lyman Street, Suite 10
Westborough, MA 01581
Main phone number is (800) 242-0030

Massachusetts’ Association for the Blind Community Services
200 Ivy Street
Brookline, MA 02446
(617) 738-5110

Massachusetts’ Health and Human Services, Commission for the Blind
Location - 48 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116-4718
Toll-free in MA: (800) 392-6450

Massachusetts’ Health and Human Services, Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
150 Mount Vernon Street, 5th Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125
(800) 882-1155

Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf
P.O. Box 52097
Boston, MA  02205
Call the center at (800) 530-7570

Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Special Education
Main address is 75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148-4906
Call (781) 338-3375

Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP)
Boston Office
100 High Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02110
(800) 495-0086





Massachusetts’ Department of Developmental Services
500 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Main phone - (617) 727-5608

Massachusetts’ Department of Mental Health
25 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114
Toll-free (800) 221-0053

Massachusetts’ MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid and CHIP)
One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
(785) 296-3981

Massachusetts’ Health and Human Services
Address is One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Dial the office at (617) 573-1600

Massachusetts’ Health and Human Services, Rehabilitation Commission
Address is 27 Wormwood Street
Boston, MA 02210-1616
(800) 245-6543

Massachusetts’ Association of Councils on Aging
116 Pleasant Street, Room 306
Easthampton, MA 01027-2740
Call the program at (413) 527-6425

Massachusetts’ Administration and Finance, Office on Disability
One Ashburton Place #1305
Boston, MA 02108
(800) 322-2020

Massachusetts’ Administration and Finance, Developmental Disabilities Council
1150 Hancock Street, Third Floor, Suite 300
Quincy, MA 02169
Telephone number is (617) 770-7676


By Jon McNamara

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