Job Support Services / Benefit Programs
This fact sheet will help you learn how to get support on the job and keep your benefits.
Ticket to Work Program (TTW)
If you are between the ages of 18 and 63 and have a disability, and your receive Social Security benefits, the Ticket to Work Program (TTW) can help you get a job without losing your benefits. TTW helps people who are receiving Social Security disability benefits find employment from a service provider or Employment Network (EN) of their choice.
- Ticket to Work Program
- Ticket to Work Employment Team Overview
- Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is an Employment Network member.
- To learn about eligibility requirements for the Ticket to Work program, call toll free 866-968-7842 (voice) or 866-2967 (TTY). To learn more about Ticket to Work, visit Social Security’s Ticket to Work website
- Ticket to Work Monthly Webinars – If you are want to learn about the Ticket to Work Program or Work Incentives, you can attend a free Work Incentive Seminar Event (WISE) online webinar.
MassHealth and Massachusetts Programs
MassHealth provides health insurance for people with disabilities.
Massachusetts Health Connector – apply online
- MassHealth eligibility requirements for individuals and families including people with disabilities.
- Call MassHealth Customer Service at 800-841-2900 (800-497-4648 TTY) to request a Medical Benefit Request (MBR form).
- MassHealth Accessibility and Accommodation Information
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.
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 individualized benefit counseling to beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), who are employed or seeking employment.
Contact: Joseph Reale, 617-204-3854 or send email to Joseph.Reale@mrc.state.ma.us
Project IMPACT Referral Form
Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling
Toll Free: 877-YES-WORK (877-937-9675)
The Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling staff provides comprehensive benefits counseling services in our state. The mission of the benefits counseling program is to inform SSDI and SSI recipients about the effect of work income on all public benefits, not just their Social Security benefits. To date, Work Without Limits Benefits Counseling has provided services to thousands of Massachusetts residents.
If you are a resident of Massachusetts counties: Bristol, Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, and Suffolk, contact Project IMPACT at 1-800-734-7475.
Social Security and Disability Programs
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are “insured,” meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.
- How you qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits
- Definition of Disability Under Social Security
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a “Needs-Based” program that provides cash assistance payments to adults and children with disabilities who meet specific low-income guidelines. SSI benefits are also payable to people 65 and older without disabilities who meet low income guidelines.
While the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are different, the medical requirements are the same. If you meet the non-medical requirement criteria, monthly benefits are paid if you have a medical condition that’s expected to last at least one year or result in death.
To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment-related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The amount of monthly earnings considered as SGA depends on the nature of a person’s disability. The Social Security Act specifies a higher SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals; Federal regulations specify a lower SGA amount for non-blind individuals. Both SGA amounts generally change with changes in the national average wage index.
SSA Guidelines for Substantial Gainful Activity
The monthly SGA amount for statutorily blind individuals for 2020 is $2110. For non-blind individuals, the monthly SGA amount for 2020 is $1260. SGA for the blind does not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, while SGA for the non-blind disabled applies to Social Security and SSI benefits. Amounts for 2020 and past years. SGA for the Non-Blind Disabled—applies to Social Security and SSI benefits
Determination of Substantial Gainful Activity
The monthly SGA amount for non-blind disabled individuals for 2020 is such SGA amount for 2000 multiplied by the ratio of the national average wage index for 2018 to that for 1998, or, if larger such SGA amount for 2019 ($1,220). If the amount so calculated is not a multiple of $10, we round it to the nearest multiple of $10.
Massachusetts SSI State Supplement Program (SSP)
Massachusetts adds more money to SSI payments for Massachusetts residents.
As of April 1, 2012, the Social Security Insurance Supplement payments are from the state instead of from the federal. If you have questions, you should call the SSP Customer Service Center at 877-863-1128 or visit the SSP Massachusetts website.
US Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)
Frequently asked questions on employment assistance, vocational rehabilitation and other services funded by the RSA.
- Social Security 2020 Red Book – A Guide to Work Incentives – The Red Book serves as a general reference source about the employment-related provisions of Social Security Disability Insurance and the Supplemental Security Income Programs for educators, advocates, rehabilitation professionals, and counselors who serve people with disabilities.
- Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) Publications
- Going to Work: A Guide to Social Security Benefits and Employment for Young People with Disabilities Resource Guide (2011 Edition)
- Massachusetts Public and Subsidized Housing Tenants: Know Your Rights! Get a Rent Freeze When You Go to Work(pdf)
- Rent Freeze Basics for Public and Subsidized Housing Tenants Who Go to Work: A Guide for Mass. Community Service Providers
Fact Sheet last updated on: 7/12/2022
Disclaimer: INDEX is pleased to provide you this information. Please note, this information is not comprehensive, nor is it intended to take the place of professional advice. We encourage you to check other resources of such information. No endorsement by the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, DisabilityInfo.org, INDEX, or affiliates, should be inferred. We reserve the right to remove, to modify, or to add any information at any time, for any reason, and without notice.