Benefits Programs

Benefits programs can help ease financial concerns for people with disabilities. Some of them are listed below.

Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC) 
is a state funded program which provides cash assistance to those in need to stabilize their lives. Recipients receive EAEDC by meeting the following eligibility criteria.
Meet certain requirements including one or more of the following:

  • Unable to work due to a physical or mental incapacity which has lasted or will last at least 60 days and meets the Department-established medical standards for disability
  • Over 65 years old and waiting for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments to begin
  • Caring for a child living in the home and not related to the individual
  • Participating in a Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission program
  • Required to be in the home to care for an incapacitated individual who would have to be institutionalized if someone does not provide the care in the home
  • Meet income and asset limits
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant

To apply,contact the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) at 617-573-1370 or toll free at 877-418-3308 or your local Transitional Assistance Office.

Food StampsAlso known as 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 apply, call DTA, 800-249-2007 or 800-941-2900, for the office nearest you.

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 800-645-8333 (v) or 800-377-1292 (TTY), Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM and Saturday 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM to locate food sources in your area. Hotline has the ability to help hungry families in 140 languages.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
are 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.

  • SSI is for people who have low income and low assets. Once you are approved for SSI you will also receive Medicaid (MassHealth), health insurance for people who have low 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.

To apply for either program, call Social Security at (800) 772-1213 or TTY: (800) 325-0778.

Disability Starter Kit  – The Disability Starter Kit will help you get ready for your disability interview or online application. Kits are available on the SSA website for adults and for children under age 18.

 

Fact Sheet last updated on: 8/30/2016