Basic Programs & Services for People with Disabilities
This fact sheet provides a general overview of programs and services available to people with disabilities in Massachusetts. The provided contact information can tell you more about the resources and if they are right for you. If you need more information on any of the topics covered here, or have questions on a service that is not listed in this fact sheet, please call us for additional information.
This fact sheet is divided into the following sections:
Advocacy is working toward a goal, sometimes against resistance. You may advocate on your own behalf, or others may advocate for you. Your local independent living center, tenant organizations, town and city governments, and senators' or representatives' offices may also provide advocacy.
One important advocacy tool is reasonable accommodation. State and federal laws require that programs available to the public be accessible to you as a person with a disability. This means that if your disability makes it difficult or impossible for you to receive services, an accommodation must be made so that you can receive services.
Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD) - Provides advocacy assistance to people with disabilities in Massachusetts and runs the client assistance project, which assists people who have problems with the state vocational rehabilitation agencies, MRC and MCB.
Toll Free: 800-322-2020 or
Disability Law Center - Provides free legal services to low-income people with disabilities in the areas of special education, accessibility to community service, health care, disability benefits and right and conditions in facilities.
Toll Free: 800--9992
TTY: 617-227-9464 or 800 381-0577
Legal services (or legal aid) offices - Provide free legal assistance and advocacy to low-income people. To find your local legal services, visit Mass Legal Services' web site at http://www.masslegalservices.org/directory which houses a program finder by city or town.
Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) - Does not provide free legal advice or make pro bono referrals to attorneys. LRS will make up to three referrals per case, one at a time. May charge $25 for the first 1/2 hour.
Toll Free: 866-627-7577
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) - To take legal action against a person or entity that has discriminated against you, file a complaint with Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY (EQUIPMENT)
For information, demonstration, or funding for medical equipment, wheelchairs, computers, or any other assistive technology, contact one of the following organizations:
MassMATCH - The Commonwealth's Initiative to Maximize Assistive Technology in Consumer's Hands. MassMATCH assists individuals with disabilities, family members, and disability-related providers, agencies and organizations across the state with getting AT through the following programs: device demonstration program, device short term loan program, device reutilization program and state financing activities. MassMATCH's website provides a wealth of information on AT services for people of all ages with disabilities.
Mass Assistive Technology Helpline: 877-508-3974
GetATstuff (Assistive Technology Exchange in New England) - is MassMATCH's free AT device exchange program. The Equipment Exchange is similar to a "want ad" where pre-owned AT is listed in order to put people looking for AT in contact with sellers or donators. The Equipment Exchange is an opportunity to re-sell or donate, or sell used AT.
ABLEDATA - Database of assistive technology, which contains information on more than 34,000 assistive products, description of the product's functions and features, price information (when available), and contact information for the product's manufacturer and any distributors.
Toll Free: 800-227-0216
Assistive Technology Regional Centers (ATRCs)
MassMATCH has two ATRCs where anyone can learn about and try out the latest equipment. Visit them to learn about, try out or borrow an AT device.
Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan Program (ATLP) - Provides low interest loans to qualified people with disabilities and their families to purchase assistive technology devices and services that will help them lead more independent lives.
Contact: Ferol Smith of Easter Seals
Toll Free: 800-244-2756 x 428 or 431 or
Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) - The state-funded Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP) provides loans to make modifications to the primary, permanent residence of elders, adults with disabilities, and families with children with disabilities. The modifications to be made to the residence must be necessary to allow the beneficiary to remain in the home and must relate to their ability to function on a daily basis. Eligible homeowners may qualify for 0% to 3% amortizing loans up to $30,000 for modifications such as ramps, lifts, bathroom and kitchen modifications. There are six regional HMLP providers that process applications.
For more information Visit MRC’S Website: www.mass.gov/mrc/hmlp
Or Contact Susan Gillam 1-866-500-5599 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Massachusetts Equipment Distribution Program (MassEDP) - If you are a Massachusetts resident with a permanent disability that in the majority of circumstances limits your ability to use the telephone effectively you may be eligible to receive assistive telephone equipment / adaptive communication equipment at a reduced rate. Under the program, equipment is available to individuals who have cognitive, hearing, motion, speech or vision impairments. Phone/TTY: 800-300-5658
Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC) - Program funded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). To be eligible for EAEDC, you must be low-income and have limited assets. You must be out of work, but the requirements for how long you have (or will have) a disability are not as strict as those for SSI/SSDI. For help applying for public assistance, call the DTA at 1-877-382-2363.
http://webapps.ehs.state.ma.us/DTAOffices/default.aspx (DTA Office Locations)
Food Stamps - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are also administered by DTA. If you have low income and low assets, regardless of your disability status, you can receive a food stamps "credit card" that you use at the grocery store to pay for a certain dollar amount of food every month.
To find out if you're eligible and to start the application process call Project Bread's Food Source Hotline at: 1-800-645-8333
Project Bread's Information on getting food stamps website: http://www.gettingfoodstamps.org/ (on line application available)
http://webapps.ehs.state.ma.us/DTAOffices/default.aspx (find your DTA office)
Project Bread Food Source Hotline - Connects people in need of a variety of food resources such as food pantries, soup kitchens and Meals on Wheels. Call Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM to locate food sources in your area. Hotline has the ability to help hungry families in 160 languages.
Toll Free: 800-645-8333
SSI and SSDI - Programs funded by the Social Security Administration to provide income to people who are unable to work due to a disability. Both programs have the same definition of disability: you must be totally unable to work for a year or more, or your condition must be expected to result in death. (Note: Children with a disability are also eligible for SSI, but instead of inability to work they are awarded benefits on their inability to do all the same social, educational, and developmental activities of other kids their age.) Keep in mind: Most people who apply for SSI/SSDI are turned down the first time. If you get denied initially, it is important to resubmit your application. Website: https://www.ssa.gov/
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - Cash assistance program administered by the Social Security Administration for the elderly (over age 65) and disabled. The Department works with the Social Security Administration to assist the elderly and certain categories of long-term disabled residents to receive SSI benefits. Once you are approved for SSI you will also receive Medicaid (MassHealth), health insurance for people who have low income.
Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) - is based on your work history (having paid in to Social Security) and not on your income or asset level. Two years after being approved for SSDI you will receive Medicare, government funded health care for people who are elders or who have a disability. http://www.ssa.gov/planners/disability/
To apply for either program, call Social Security at 800-772-1213 or TTY: 800-325-0778.
Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available for adults and for children under age 18. The starter kits provide information about the specific documents and the information that SSI will request from you, general information about disability programs and social security decision-making process. http://www.ssa.gov./disability/disability_starter_kits.htm
The Federation for Children with Special Needs - Provides information, referral, advocacy, and support to parents and others concerned with the needs and rights of children (ages birth to 22) with disabilities, particularly in obtaining appropriate education.
Federation for Children with Special Needs (main office)
The Shrafft Center
529 Main Street, Suite 1102
Boston, MA 02129
Toll Free: 800-331-0688 (Mass. only)
Satellite office Western Mass: 413-323-0681 or (866) 323-0681
Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPR) - Serves as a central resource of information and products to the community of Parent Training Information (PTI) Centers and the Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), so that they can focus their efforts on serving families of children with disabilities.
Center for Parent Information and Resources
c/o Statewide Parent Advocacy Network
35 Halsey St., Fourth Floor
Newark, NJ 07102
Contact: Myriam Alizo, Project Assistant
If suicidal call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH)
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) - NAMI Mass provides family to family education, support groups and information and referral to people with mental illness and their family.
The Schrafft Center
529 Main Street, Suite 1M17
Boston, MA 02129
Safe Passage - Offer support, shelter, counseling, and resources for survivors, children, and families affected by domestic violence. Located in Northampton.
24-hour Crisis Hotline: 413-586-5066
Toll Free: 888-345-5282
Additional mental health organization can be found MNIP fact sheet, "Mental Illness". Hospital social work departments frequently host a variety of support groups relating to illnesses and disabilities. Another potential source of support is contacting a specific disability organization. Most organizations provide some form of emotional support, including referrals to support groups, a call-in line and contact information of others in your area with the same disability.
DISCOUNTS ON UTILITY BILLS - ENERGY ASSISTANCE
HEATLINE at 800-632-8175 (v/TTY) or 617-727-4259 x 535
Fuel Assistance - Also known as the http://www.mass.gov/hed/community/energy/low-income-home-energy-assistance-liheap.html, is a government program to help low-income families and individuals pay their heating bills during the winter. The program is managed by the DHCD in conjunction with 22 regional nonprofit and local government organizations.
Eligibility for fuel assistance is based on having low income and low assets. To find out which Energy AssistanceProgram serves your area go to: http://www.masscap.org/agencies.html
All electric and most gas companies have low-income discount programs. You automatically qualify for discounts if you receive food stamp benefits, MassHealth, SSI, fuel assistance, Veterans'services, if your child is in Head Start or the school lunch program. These discounts can save you 20 - 35% on each bill. To apply for discounts, call your gas and electric companies to request an application. Major utility companies in Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/eea/energy-utilities-clean-tech/natural-gas-utility/natural-gas-market-data/list-of-local-distribution-companies.html .
If your utility company is not listed, look on your utility bill for the Customer Service number. You may also call the Department of Public Utilities toll-free at (877) 886-5066 for information.
Electric and gas companies also offer free "energy conservation surveys" which may pay for insulation, water-saving devices, low-energy lights and provide useful tips on how to save money on utility bills. For information on either program, contact your utility company's customer service department or the Consumer Division of the Department of Public Utilities at 877-886-5066. Additionally, water and sewer companies often offer discounts to people with disabilities, regardless of income or assets. Call your water company to inquire.
The Good Neighbor Energy Fund - Operated by your local Salvation Army Office, is for those with limited income that are not eligible for fuel assistance. The fund most often helps families or individuals facing an unexpected short-term financial crisis. Your immigration status does not matter for this program. For more information about eligibility requirements, please call:
• 1-800-334-3047 (serving area codes 508, 617, 781 and 978) or
• 1-800-262-1320 (serving area code 413).
You may apply by directly contacting your local Salvation Army Service Center
If you do not see a Service Center in your local area, please call 339-502-5900. http://www.magoodneighbor.org/
Citizens Energy Oil Program - Allows families to purchase one time deliveries of discount home heating oil per heating up to 200 gallons of home heating oil at 40% of the retail price. The application process takes four to five weeks as it is not an emergency assistance program. Call 1-877-563-4645.
Check http://www.citizensenergy.com/assistance-programs/joe-4-oil for updates.
Citizens Energy / Distrigas Heat Assistance Program (CEDHAP) - Gives a $150 utility bill credit to eligible households who heat with natural gas. For application call 866-427-9918. http://www.citizensenergy.com/assistance-programs/natural-gas-heat-assistance-program
Verizon Free telephone directory assistance exemptions and operator assistance exemptions are available for Verizon customers in Massachusetts if you are blind or low-vision, or mobility impaired. For additional information and application call Verizon Center for Customers with Disabilities at 1-888-262-1999.
Department of Telecommunications and Cable - State agency that can assist consumers with disabilities with disputes or issues that they have with their landline telephone and or cable service. Hotline telephone number is (800) 392-6066 and email complaints can be sent to email@example.com http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/government/oca-agencies/dtc-lp/
Mass Equipment Distribution Program - If you are a Massachusetts resident with a permanent disability that in the majority of circumstances limits your ability to use the telephone effectively you may be eligible to receive assistive telephone equipment free of charge or at a reduced rate, depending on your income. Disabilities include deafness, hearing loss, speech, vision impairment, blindness, cognitive or motion impairment that affects use of phone. Consumers who are blind or deaf/blind or have a cognitive or motion disability are entitled to free installation and a home visit by a MassEDP agent.
Lifeline Free Wireless Cell Phone Service - is a government supported free cell phone service for Massachusetts residents with limited incomes. There are no contracts or monthly fees. You are eligible for Lifeline if you participate in MassHealth / Medicaid , LIHEAP Fuel Assistance, Food Stamps, TAFDC, EAEDC, SSI.
There are two Lifeline services available in Massachusetts
- Safelink Wireless Lifeline Service
provides a free cell phone, a choide of three different calling plans that include texting options. TracFone Wireless, a U.S. prepaid cell phone company provides the SafeLink service. For additional information or application, call Safelink at 1-800-723-3546 https://www.safelinkwireless.com/Enrollment/Safelink/en/NewPublic/index.html
- Assurance Wireless
provides a free cell phone with 350 minutes per month plus text.
Virgin Mobile, provides the Assurance Wireless service.
For additional information or application, call Assurance Wireless at 888-898-4888 http://www.assurancewireless.com/Public/Welcome.aspx
The HEATH Resource Center - is a national clearinghouse on post secondary education for individuals with disabilities. HEATH provides information and referral about educational issues for people with disabilities relating to college, vocational-technical schools and other post secondary training entities. Information about accessibility, career development, classroom adaptations, financial aid, independent living, transition resources and rehabilitation.
HEATH Resource Center
George Washington University
2134 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052-0001
Community Work Incentive Coordinators - If you are planning on returning to work, you can talk with a Community Work Incentives Coordinators (CWICs) free of charge. Project Impact & BenePLAN programs assist beneficiaries, family members, and professionals to calculate the impact of work might have on their Social Security and other benefits. http://www.workwithoutlimits.org/individuals/benefits_incentives/help
Both programs give individuals with disabilities, their families and significant others access to information regarding social security work incentives, public health insurance, long-term care services, employment based health insurance, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and federal and state housing programs.
Project IMPACT / Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Project IMPACT provides this resource in Essex, Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, Norfolk and Suffolk Counties. The remaining counties of Massachusetts are covered by Beneplan.
Toll Free: 800-734-7475
Contact: Joseph Reale
Project IMPACT Referral Form: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/disability-services/vocational-rehab/ses/impact/impact-referral-form.html
Toll Free: 877-937-9675, then press #3
For Berkshire, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex and Worcester counties. The remaining counties of Massachusetts are covered by Project IMPACT
Contact: Barbara Lee
Contact: Brian Forsythe
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission - Goal of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission's (MRC) vocational rehabilitation division is to assist individuals with disabilities to enter the work force. Services include identifying job goals, vocational training, assessing work site accommodations, educating employers about applicable laws, job search assistance and job placement.
27-43 Wormwood Street
Boston, MA 02210-1616
Toll Free: 800-245-6543 (V/TTY)
Local MRC offices can be found at: http://www.disabilityinfo.org/MNIP/DB/TACR/OfficeByAgency.aspx?id=15
MRC's Statewide Employment Services (SES) Department - SES provides services to individuals who have severe disabilities to enable them to choose, obtain, and retain meaningful employment. All Program Specialists meet the qualifications of a Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. They provide counseling, guidance, case management and they oversee contracts with Community Rehabilitation Providers, who assist individuals with disabilities to assess their strengths, develop career plans and place individuals in competitive employment.
600 Washington Street Boston MA 02111
One Stop Career System - 31 One-Stop Career Centers throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts form the foundation of the state's delivery system for employment and training services for job seekers, employers, and their workers.
http://www.mass.gov/lwd/employment-services/one-stop-career-centers/about-career-centers/find-a-career-center-near-you.html (Career Center Listing)
Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) - Job search services include vocational evaluation, resume and interview preparation, career exploration, job search assistance, job development, job placement, assistance requesting accommodations and job coaching. Serves Greater Boston area.
Contact: Madeline Wenzel
Community Work Services (CWS) - Helps people who face barriers to work obtain employment and achieve greater self sufficiency through innovative job training, placement and support services. Offers short-term vocational evaluations assessments, hotel and hospitality training program, food service training program, and janitoral training program. Tours to learn about all training programs are offered on Wednesdays at 1PM.
Serves Boston area.
Contact: Shannon Teles, Director of Workforce Development
Easter Seals Massachusetts Job Training and Employment - Offers comprehensive vocational rehabilitation, job training, employment services and individualized instruction in computer software applications to adults with a wide range of disabilities in Boston and Worcester.
89 South Street
Boston, MA 02111
484 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about Employment and Training Services
Work Inc. - Assists individuals to define their employment objectives and help them with career exploration, training, education, counseling and job placement. Serves Greater Boston, Southeastern, North Shore, and Central Massachusetts
Work Inc. Locations:
25 Beach Street
Dorchester, MA 02122-2734
Eugene Gloss (617) 691-1705
South Coast Employment Services
143 Union Street
New Bedford, MA 02740
Kate Masse (617)691-1731 or (508) 999-2318
F & L Employment Services
473 Main Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
Michelle Dunn (978) 342-0337
Work Without Limits - Info about benefits, insurance and job search tips for individuals, employers and providers in Massachusetts.
UMass Medical School
Center for Health Policy and Research
333 South Street
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
MCPHS Pharmacy Outreach Program - Answers questions about your prescription medicine and work with your doctor to reduce cost for Massachusetts residents.
Toll Free: 866-633-1617 http://www.mcphs.edu/Patient%20Clinics%20and%20Community%20Outreach/Pharmacy%20Outreach%20Program
Free and Low-Cost Medications are available from certain pharmaceutical companies for people with disabilities and elders.
NeedyMeds.com - Web-based information resource for people who need assistance with paying the cost of healthcare. By going to http://www.needymeds.com/ you can find the following programs: patient assistance programs, disease-based assistance, help with paperwork and state programs. Select "First Time User" in the top menu on the homepage for help getting started.
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan - Available to Medicare beneficiaries. This new benefit was established by the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which was enacted in 2003. Information about this plan is available at http://www.medicare.gov/
Massachusetts residents with disabilities, and their families, may also be eligible for MassHealth, public health insurance that covers medical and dental care, and prescriptions. The primary factor for eligibility is income level; assets are not counted in most cases.
MassHealth Customer Service: 800-841-2900, TTY: 800-497-4648.
To apply for MassHealth, you should call the MassHealth Enrollment Center at 888-665-9993 or download an application or apply online here: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/insurance/apply-for-health-coverage/
Health Care For All - Available to answer your questions about healthcare in Massachusetts.
Consumer Help Line: 800-272-4232
Health Connector - Online tool that helps Massachusetts residents find health insurance coverage and avoid tax penalties. Commonwealth Choice offers many name-brand health insurance options. Commonwealth Care is low or no-cost health insurance for people who qualify.
Health Connector Customer Service: 1-877-MA-ENROLL (1-877-623-6765), or TTY 1-877-623-7773
Health Safety Net Fund (Free Care) - The Health Safety Net (HSN) pays acute care hospitals and community health centers for essential health care services provided to uninsured and underinsured Massachusetts residents.
For Patients: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/insurance/more-programs/health-safety-net/for-patients.html
MassHealth Member Applicatons: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/insurance/masshealth-member-library/member-applications.html
Mayor's Health Line in Boston - Provides assistance to callers on a variety of personal and public issues in the Boston area including: primary care providers, assisting with applying for health insurance, support groups, mental health services, nutritional programs, legal and financial assistance programs and more. Toll Free: 800-847-0710 or 617-534-5050
Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone (SHINE) - SHINE is a state health insurance assistance program that provides free health insurance information, counseling and assistance to Massachusetts elders and individuals with disabilities in understanding their Medicare and MassHealth benefits and other health insurance options. SHINE counselors are available throughout the state at local Council on aging, senior centers, elder service agencies, hospitals and other community based agencies. Call 800-243-4636, then press 3 to contact your local SHINE Program Office
Subsidized Housing - If you are low-income, you are eligible to apply for rental assistance. There are local, state, and federal sources of rental assistance, also known as subsidized housing.
Project-based Subsidized Housing - Is permanent, multi-family housing for people who have low-income and/or disabilities, or who are elders; you pay 30% of your income toward your rent, with the government paying the balance. To get a list of subsidized housing throughout Massachusetts, contact MassHousing at One Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108-3110 To request its "MHFA Housing List." Or visit the website at: https://www.masshousing.com/portal/server.pt/community/rental_housing/240/looking_for_an_affordable_apartment_
Phone: 617-854-1000 TOLL-FREE: 800-882-1154
Videophone (for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing): 866-758-1435
A mobile Section 8 voucher also allows you to pay 30% of your income towards the rent, but you can use a voucher for any apartment in the U.S. as long as it passes inspection and is within rental limits for the program. It is usually not easy to get a section 8 voucher -- generally only a few housing authorities are accepting applications at any one time, and there are often waiting lists once you apply. However, with luck and perseverance you can relieve a considerable financial burden. You may apply to as many housing authorities as you wish; you do not have to apply just in your city/town. To apply, start calling housing authorities in your area. For further information on finding affordable housing, rental assistance, or a list of Massachusetts Housing Authorities, call your local Independent Living Center (ILC). Find your local ILC.
Persons interested in Section 8 vouchers are advised to put their name on a centralized waiting list as soon as possible. Seventy two Massachusetts housing authorities utilize this one computerized list; all applicant information entered onto this list can be accessed and updated by any and all participating housing authorities.
Toll Free: 877-868-0040
HousingWorks - An internet service for matching people needing subsidized, affordable, andspecial needs housing with the available housing inventory.
Mass Access: The Accessible Housing Registry - helps people find affordable housing in Massachusetts. A key feature of the registry is to highlight homes for people with disabilities who need accessible or barrier-free housing. To access the database, call your local Independent Living Center or visit website - http://www.massaccesshousingregistry.org/.
Supportive Housing for Adult Children with Disabilities
Autism Housing Pathways - Provides information, support and resources for families who seek to create secure, supported housing for their adult children with disabilities. Autism Housing Pathways will support families in forming a variety of housing models by providing a clearinghouse of information on such topics as cooperative bylaws, building plans for modular housing that conforms to legal criteria, real estate trusts, and affordable housing options. AHP shares information about housing groups, developers, lawyers, vendors and consultants that can assist families in creating housing.
The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) - Offers a range of home ownership programs -- for buying or fixing up a home - to people of low to moderate income, people with disabilities, and first-time home owners. MHFA programs include low-interest (below market rate) mortgages, home buyer counseling, home improvement loans, lead-removal financing, and septic repair loans.
Videophone (for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing): 866-758-1435
The Home Modifications for Persons with Disabilities Loan Program (HMLP) - Provides low- and no-interest loans to modify the homes of adults and children with disabilities, and elders. Contact Sue Gillam
Institute for Human Centered Design - promotes accessibility through education programs, technical assistance, training, consulting, publications and design advocacy. AEC provides technical assistance materials on the ADA, universal design, home modification, pertinent laws, and disability policy related topics. Adaptive Environments Center
200 Portland St, Boston, MA
INDEPENDENT LIVING CENTERS (ILCs)
The goal of ILCs is to help people with disabilities live independently in the community. ILCs provide information and referral, advocacy, and other services to people with disabilities, such as peer counseling, housing assistance, personal care assistant programming, and independent living skills training.
Contact your local ILC for more information:
- Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)
- Cape Organization for Rights of the Disabled (CORD)
Hyannis: 800-541-0282 or 508-775-8300
- Center for Living and Working
- Independence Associates
Taunton: 508-583-2166 or 800-649-5568
- Independent Living Center of the North Shore and Cape Ann
- Metrowest Center for Independent Living
- Multi-Cultural Independent Living Center of Boston
- Northeast Independent Living Program
- Southeast Center for Independent Living
Fall River: 508-679-9210
Amherst; 800-804-1899 or 413-256-0473
Homemakers assist with shopping, cleaning, meal preparation, and similar tasks. They can often be hired, at an hourly rate, through home care agencies and Visiting Nurses Associations (VNAs), or you can hire one yourself by putting a classified ad in a local newspaper. Your local ILC can provide you with tips on how best to find, to hire, and to manage home help.
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) Home Care Assistance Program - Client must have a disability that requires homemaker assistance. Homemaker tasks include: meal preparation, food planning, grocery shopping, medication pick-up, laundry and light housekeeping. Must be between ages of 18 and 59, live alone or with minor children or others with disabilities unable to help. Financial needs statement taken to assess eligibility. All disabilities except legally blind.
Toll Free: 800-223-2559
Massachusetts Commission for The Blind (MCB) - Homemaker Service may be provided to consumers less than 60 years of age who, without this assistance, could not remain in their home. In order for MCB to provide homemaker service, consumers must be financially eligible and have a serious illness or injury in addition to legal blindness.
800-392-6450 (MASS. ONLY) Voice
800-392-6556 (MASS. ONLY) TD
If you are 60 or over you may qualify for homemaker services through Elder Services. Call the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) at 800-243-4636 or TTY: 1-800-439-2370 for information regarding services offered by local Elder Services offices.
Division for Children & Youth with Special Health Needs - Works with families, providers, and others to support children and youth with special health needs ages birth to 22 and their families. This includes children and youth with chronic medical, physical, developmental, behavioral or emotional conditions. The goal of the Division for Children & Youth with Special Health Needs is to promote good health and quality of life for all children and youth with special health care needs and their families.
Community Supoprt Line: 617-624-6060
Toll Free: 800-882-1435
Personal Care Assistant/Attendant (PCA)
The PCA Program is funded by Medicaid and is administered by the Independent Living Centers (ILCs). To be eligible for the program, a person must need a certain number of hours of personal care assistance (help with food preparation, personal hygiene, bathing, toileting, dressing, feeding, transferring, household maintenance, or other tasks) per week and be a recipient of MassHealth (Medicaid) or Commonhealth. To find out more, contact your local ILC (see above for contact information).
Massachusetts Directory of Personal Care Assistants - The Massachusetts Directory of Personal Care Assistants is a program of the Massachusetts PCA Workforce council. Working with Rewarding Work Resources, Inc, a nonprofit organization, the Massachusetts PCA directory, web-based service, helps Massachusetts elders, residents with disabilities of all ages, their families, and parents of children with disabilities in hiring their own PCA or direct care worker. PCA surrogates may also use the service. By calling or using online tools, this allows PCA users to access a comprehensive database of persons interested in providing personal care services.
Phone: 866-212-WORK (9675)
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Disability Plates and Placards - You are eligible for an Disability plate or placard if you have a diagnosed long-term disease or disorder that substantially impairs or interferes with mobility. The fee for a disability plate is $60.00 for a two-year registration. There is no fee for a placard.
Medical Affairs Branch, Registry of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 199100, Boston, MA 02119-9100
From Massachusetts area codes 339/617/781/857 and from outside of Massachusetts call: 857-368-8000
From all other Massachusetts area codes not listed above call: 800-858-3926
Medical Affairs: 857-368-8020
If you are in Massachusetts and are hearing impaired, call 877-768-8833
MBTA Services - The MBTA has a Senior and Access Pass Office and an Office for Transportation Access (OTA). OTA oversees programs and services for people with disabilities and senior citizens, manages the MBTA's paratransit program, The RIDE; the Call-A-Lift Bus Program; and the Senior and Access Pass Office, which issues reduced fare passes. The OTA addresses customer concerns regarding station and vehicle access.
OTA, 10 Park Plaza, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02116
Reduced Fare Passes for People with Disabilities -A Transportation Access Pass entitles you to reduced fares on all MBTA services including buses, trains, rapid transit, trackless trolleys, commuter rail, and commuter boats.
Phone: 617-222-5976 for application.http://www.mbta.com/fares_and_passes/reduced_fare_programs/
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) - Issues photo card to eligible persons with vision impairments, which allows free travel on fixed route buses, trains and subway. Call MCB for information.
The RIDE - The MBTA's paratransit service, The RIDE, provides advance notice, door-to-door transportation to those who, because of a mental, physical or sensory disability, are unable to use general public transportation. The RIDE has wheelchair equipped vans and covers the same service area as the T and Commuter Rail. Call for application and information. Twenty one days allowed to process application upon receipt per ADA regulations.
Phone: 617-222-5123 or
Toll Free: 800-533-6282 http://www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/accessible_services/?id=7108
TRIP Metro North - Mystic Valley Elder Services has a program called TRIP Metro North. Trip Metro North is a unique, free, passenger-controlled transportation program open to older adults and adults living with disabilities in Everett, Malden, Medford, Melrose, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield. TRIP Metro North gives you the tools you need to recruit friends, neighbors, or relatives to drive you where you need to go - and the money to reimburse them for mileage! With TRIP Metro North, you can get to the doctor, the market, or out to meet friends, all on your own terms and wherever you want to go. If you have a need for transportation, please contact the Mystic Valley Elder Services to sign up for TRIP.
Phone: 781-324-7705 ext 346
OTHER SOURCES OF ASSISTANCE
Local churches, synagogues, or other religious organizations; Lions or Elks Clubs, or other civic organizations are often good sources for assistance, including financial or volunteer assistance.
Additional possible financial resources can be found on the MNIP fact sheet, "Financial Resources (Possible)".
Many cities and towns have Commission on Disability (COD) and/or social service departments. To locate your local Commission on Disability go to MNIP Town / Area Office By Agency at:
Also, call your city or town hall to find out what your community offers.
Fact Sheet last updated on: 8/18/2016
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