Some of the most common requests Information Specialists receive are those for financial assistance. Beyond the regular assistance provided by Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), there is very little money available for people with disabilities. The following is a list of groups who have either been known to help those in need, or groups who can give (sometimes financial) help. Not all the groups give financial help. Some may give help in the form of a food or a fuel donation. Please check the descriptions listed under each part of this fact sheet. That part tells you who the group helps. If that does not apply to you, please do not bother to call.
Please keep in mind that these are possible resources. There is no guarantee they will be able to help. Check the details for each resource. The contact person for service clubs is usually one of the club officers. Local Lions, Kiwanis and other civic groups may be located by calling their national headquarters.
Cape Cod Times Needy Fund
Provides financial assistance to Cape Cod residents for basic human needs. (food, rent, mortgage payments, utility and heating bills, medical costs and other basic expenses)
Provides assistance to people in need of food, fuel, rental, or utility assistance as well as holiday assistance. Available funding varies from city to city.
(Eastern Mass Locations)
508-674-4681 (Fall River)
(75 listed by town in Massachusetts)
BPO Elks Headquarters
Emergency Aid to Elderly, Disabled & Children (EAEDC)
State funded program which provides cash assistance to those in need to stabilize their lives. Recipients receive EAEDC by meeting certain eligibility criteria.
800-249-2007, press 2 for cash assistance or call Transitional Assistance Office.
Knights of Columbus
Ask local Catholic Church for name of Council member to obtain an application. You don’t have to be Catholic to apply.
Funds are earmarked for children with special needs under age of 20 and all ages with intellectual disabilities. Call for more information.
Ask for the phone number of your local chapter-or- on the website choose,”Find A Club”.
Sight Services to blind and visually impaired and additional charitable causes.
Lion’s Club Locator
Poor People’s United Fund
Limited emergency assistance to individuals.
Call local chamber of commerce to locate rotary phone number -or- use the “club locator” on their website.
Ask for phone number of your local chapter.
339-502-5900 (social services)
City or Town Hall
Many cities and towns have social service departments which may be of assistance. Ask if they have emergency funding. To find out to find out what your community offers, call your city or town hall. Find your town here .
Also, try calling local religious organizations / churches.
Amputee Coalition of America
Financial Assistance for prosthetic services.
Catastrophic Illness in Children’s Relief Fund
Helps families bear the excessive financial burdens associated with the care of children with special health care needs and disabilities. CICRF is a payor of last resort. It provides financial assistance for Massachusetts families with children experiencing a medical condition requiring services that are not covered by a private insurer, federal or state assistance, or any other financial resource. The family’s out-of-pocket medical and medically related expenses must be more than 10% of the family’s annual income up to $100,000 (plus 15% of any portion of family income that is above $100,000) in a given 12 month period.
Massachusetts Assistive Technology Loan Program offers access to low-interest cash loans to buy assistive technology devices. Some home modifications and vehicle purchases are covered.
Local Independent Living Centers (ILCs) / Title VII Funds
Call a local Information Specialist at your local ILC for possible funding for assistive technology.
Find your local ILC
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
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
Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Financial Assistance, Exchange and Recycling Programs for Hearing Aids and Assistive Technology
There are several options available regarding financial assistance for hearing aids listed in this section. Some options for financial assistance come through government agencies, some through non-profit agencies, and some are offered by private foundations. There are also programs that loan equipment and others provide refurbished equipment. Eligibility for assistance varies depending on financial need, age, and / or other eligibility requirements. Please contact each individual agency for the details of that specific program.
New Eyes for the Needy
purchases new prescription eyeglasses for low-income individuals in US through voucher program. Must be in financial need (at or below US poverty guidelines), have a recent eye exam and have no other financial resources (including local charities) helping to pay for glasses.
549 Millburn Avenue
PO Box 332
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Burial (Special Needs Circumstances)
Help with Burial Costs
The State Department of Transitional Assistance (TA) may pay may pay up to $1,000 to a funeral establishment for burial expenses if the SSI recipient had insufficient resources to cover the cost. The Commonwealth can be reimbursed from whatever resources the recipient may have in their estate. Other information is available.
Resources for Final Arrangements – Massachusetts General Hospital Social Services
Information on possible burial and funeral funds, support for families, types of burials, information for veterans and more.
Sources of Financial Assistance for People with Cancer
- American Cancer Society
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- Lymphoma Research Foundation
- National Marrow Donor Program
- Colorectal CareLine
- Sarcoma Alliance
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. People who are getting TAFDC, EAEDC, SSI, food stamps, MassHealth/Medicaid or LIHEAP fuel assistance are eligible.
There are two Lifeline free wireless services available in Massachusetts:
Free cell phone per household and choice of three different calling plans that include texting options.
TracFone Wireless provides the SafeLink service.
- Assurance Wireless
Free cell phone per household and 250 free voice minutes per month.
Virgin Mobile provides the Assurance Wireless service.
Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council’s Empowerment Funds Program
MDDC provides funds for individual. and/or family member to attend conference. Call for application.
TTY: (617) 770-9499
Crime Victims – Financial Assistance
Massachusetts Office for Assistance Programs (MOVA)
Crime victims may be reimbursed for medical & dental, counseling, funeral costs, lost wages victims only, loss of financial support, homemaker expenses.
844-878-6682 or 617-586-1340
College Funding for Students with Disabilities
Here are some resources to help find scholarships, grants and financial information for students with disabilities.
- Disabled World
- College Scholarships.org
- College Funding for Students with Disabilities
Food Assistance Programs
TWO DOLLAR-A-BAG Sites
Fair Foods, Inc. and its partners run TWO DOLLAR-A-BAG sites through Boston and eastern Massachusetts. Each week, participants enjoy a wide selection of fresh fruits, vegetables and breads for a donation of $2 a bag.
To find about a site near you
Cape Cod Hunger Network
The Cape Cod Hunger Network is a growing coalition of organizations — including Cape food pantries and state and local agencies that help coordinate food security programs and work together to help food find its way to hungry Cape residents. Listings include food pantries and meals.
Project Bread Food Source Hotline
Massachusetts’ food banks offer emergency assistance to those in need by providing food pantries and other food programs with emergency supplies. Food banks will provide you with a list of pantries and programs in your area where you can get free food on an emergency basis. Call the Project Bread FoodSource Hotline for more information at 800-645-8333.
The Daily Table
At Daily Table we believe that delicious, wholesome and affordable food should be available to all. We are on a mission to help communities make great choices around food by making it easy for them to choose tasty, healthy, convenient and truly affordable meals and groceries. And we do this in a respectful manner that honors our customer, engendering dignity. Our meals are priced to compete with fast food options, making it easier for families to eat healthier within their means. And all the food in our store meets guidelines set for us by a leading group of nutrition experts, which makes it easy for our customers to make great food choices.
450 Washington Street
Dorchester, MA 02124
The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts – Find a Local Feeding Program including food pantries and meal centers.
The Oil Heat Program offers free heating oil to people in financial need who can’t afford to pay their heating bills. Each eligible household is allowed a one-time delivery per heating season of 100 gallons of home heating oil for free.
Good Neighbor Energy Fund (Salvation Army)
For Utilities only. Income must be within 200 -275% of Federal Poverty Income Guideline. Those who qualify may receive up to $275 per household per heating session.
800-262-1320 (413 area code residents)
800-334-3047 (Eastern MA)
Community Action Program HEATLINE
Call Heatline to find out which Community Action Program (CAP) serves your area. Eligibility based on low income & assets. Website is currently under construction.
is a nonprofit fundraising solution for you, a friend or a loved one in need of help with medical bills.
2 Radnor Corporate Center, Suite 100
100 Matsonford Road
Radnor, PA 19087
Home Modification Loan Program (HMLP)
Any homeowner who is a frail elder or has a disability, has a household member who has a disability, or rents to an individual with a disability (in a building with fewer than 10 units) may apply for this loan. The residence’s owner must apply for the loan. Some landlords may be eligible for a 3% loan for a tenant with a disability.
Contact: Susan Gillam of Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission for more information
Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program
Habitat for Humanity Critical Home Repair program is an outreach initiative that seeks to provide a wide range of opportunities for low income and military families, including support for interior and exterior home repairs to address health, life and safety/code issues in the Greater Worcester area.
contact Seth Jajliardo at: firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 508-799-9259 ext. 119
Home Depot’s Team Depot
May build ramps, stair lifts, etc. at little to no cost. Will only respond to requests made by a sponsoring agency. Any combination of financial assistance, manpower, or materials. Helps veterans.
Home Sweet Home Program at Stavros (Western Mass)
Home Sweet Home Program benefits many of the folks in western Massachusetts (Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties) who are in need of wheelchair ramps and durable medical equipment to access safely their homes and community The ramp program is a coordinated effort of volunteers, donated funds and donated materials. Modular ramp units are built and then installed at slated locations.
Contact Lois Brown at 800-804-1899, ext. 240
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind – Title VII Part B Funds
In Massachusetts, federal money from Title VII Part funding for individuals who are legally blind is available through the MCB for the purchase of equipment and services to assist blind, multiply disabled individuals to maintain or achieve independence. MCB case managers make referrals to MCB’s Title VII, Part B Supervisor.
Independent Living Centers (ILCs) – Title VII Part B Funds
In Massachusetts, federal money from Title VII Part B funding is made available to many of the Independent Living Centers (ILC) in Massachusetts for the purchase of equipment and services to assist people to maintain or achieve independence.
Contact Cindy Wentz at 617-204-3628
or your local independent living center
Massachusetts Vocational High Schools
May build ramps, stair lifts, etc. at little or no cost. Schools that offer carpentry programs include:
- Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School
- Attleboro High School
- Bay Path Regional
- Vocational Areaal Technical High School
- Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School
- Cape Cod Regional Technical High School
- Center for Technical Education at Leominster High School
- Diman Regional Vocational Areaal Technical High School
- Franklin County Technical School
- Greater Lawrence Technical School
- Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Areaal Technical High School
- J. P. Keefe Technical School
- Madison Park Technical Vocational Areaal High School
- Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School
Contact each school for details.
United Healthcare – Children’s Foundation
Children who have medical needs are sometimes not insured comprehensively to provide coverage for all of their medical treatments. There are few places for families who have gaps in their commercial health benefit plan coverage to turn to for funding medically necessary services for their children. Children may go without necessary treatment, or, they receive the care and families assume a large amount of debt. The Foundation understands these needs and is willing to help fill this void.
855-698-4223 Leave message. Foundation representative will return your call within 5 business days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Medical Needs for Children
Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund (CICRF)
CICRF provides financial assistance for MA families with children under age 22 experiencing a medical condition requiring services not covered by a private insurer, federal or state health care assistance or any other financial source.
800-882-1435 (in MA only)
617-624-6060 (if calling outside of MA)
The CSL Foundation, Inc. reaches out to children and teenagers in Massachusetts challenged by health and life issues, including those who are:
- Facing a medical crisis
- Living with a disability
- Coping with chronic illness or the need for long-term care
- Terminally ill
We support individuals and families in need, as well as local organizations that share our goals.
30 North Avenue
Burlington, MA 01803
Angel Flight North East
Small aircraft transporting children and adults for medical care. Our primary service area covers 9 states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Additionally, we can serve patients nationwide through our partnership with other air charities and airlines.
National Patient Travel Center
The National Patient Travel Center provides information about all forms of charitable, long-distance medically-related transportation and provides referrals to all appropriate sources of help available in the national charitable medical transportation network.
Moving Costs (Low-cost)
Department of Transitional Assistance
The cost of moving within the state for SSI recipients may be paid once in a 12-month period if:
Present living quarters have been certified as substandard, moving to new quarters is necessary because of health problems or lack of safety in old neighborhood, recipient is moving into federal or state subsidized housing, or recipient is forced to move for other reasons. Total payment not to exceed $150
State Assistance Programs for SSI Recipients
Patient Lodging for Medical Emergency Travel
National Association Hospitality Houses (NAHHH)
Hospital hospitality houses (HHH) provide free or significantly reduced cost lodging to patients and their families while receiving medical care away from their home communities. Unlike a hotel, HHHs provide opportunities for those going through similar stressful situations to come together as a community where they can support one another.
Mass Equipment Distribution Program (MassEDP)
Offers special telephone equipment to blind, deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind, deaf/blind, and vision, speech, mobility, cognitively disabled consumers. Equipment available is free of charge to those who qualify & have household income of $50,000 or less. If over amount, you can get equipment at reduced cost.
Utility Shut Off Protection
Under certain circumstances, a gas or electric heating provider is not allowed to shut off your heat, even for non-payment. You must be unable to pay your bill because of financial hardship and certify to one of the following circumstances:
Everyone in the household is over 65, or All adults living in the home are over 65 and a minor child resides in the home, or You or someone who lives in the home is seriously ill, or there is a child under the age of one living in the home.
Utility Bill Assistance
Assistance and help in Massachusetts with electric, utility and heating bills.
Help With Your Winter Utility Bill
Vehicle Transportation (Affordable)
Good News Garage of Massachusetts
The Good News Garage Donated Vehicle Program, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), provides refurbished donated vehicles to people with disabilities in Massachusetts who otherwise could not afford to purchase their own. Cars will be used to transport the client to employment. Qualified applicants must be a clients of MRC and must have a written Individual Plan for Employment.Anyone interested in applying to this program must request a referral from their MRC Counselor. Completed referrals should be faxed to 603.626.7763.
Fact Sheet last updated on: 9/13/2016