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Massachusetts Disability Benefits

Disabled Massachusetts residents have several options for seeking Social Security benefits and financial assistance.

Disabled Massachusetts residents have several options for seeking Social Security benefits and financial assistance. The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) is a state agency that works under the federal Social Security Administration (SSA) to implement Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Working under the Massachusetts Commission, the Disability Determination Services (DDS) evaluates all applications to determine what disability services are awarded.

Massachusetts also offers disability benefits at the state level with programs such as MassHealth (Medicaid), CHIP, and unemployment services. These services can cover children, students, adults, and seniors with and without disabilities.

Facts About Massachusetts

About one in four Massachusetts residents have some sort of disability, but only a fraction of those are receiving SSDI benefits or other state-run assistance or compensation services.

Currently, approximately 4.5% of people with a physical or developmental disability receive disability payments from the SSA. The majority of Massachusetts’ disabled population suffers from cognitive disabilities such as autism or a brain injury, followed closely by those with mobility issues.

The state currently spends around 37% of its healthcare resources on those with disabilities. Find out today if you can qualify for these programs to take advantage of these essential human services.

How To Qualify for SSDI in Massachusetts

Criteria for qualifying Social Security Disability is the same across the country since SSDI is a federally funded program. However, the disability determination is made at the state level. Roughly half of all first-time applications will be denied. There is a process for appealing this decision, but you can improve your chances by ensuring upfront that you meet all the requirements.

Social Security disability benefits are reserved for workers who have worked long enough (earned enough “credits”) to pay into the Social Security tax system. Your disability must be considered “severe” enough to limit your ability to work for at least 12 months.

A list of conditions can be found here. Your condition must be found on this list to qualify for benefits, and it is strongly recommended you consult this list before applying. It also must be determined that you cannot reasonably switch over to another line of employment.

It should be noted that by law an employer is required to make any reasonable accommodation to help you complete your job since you are protected from disability discrimination in the workplace.

How To Apply for SSDI in Massachusetts

Applications for SSDI in Massachusetts must be made to your local Social Security office. You can do this online, over the phone, or in person. There are 30 local offices in the state that can offer assistance. You can apply online at the federal Social Security website, or call (800) 772-1213 for help over the phone. If you wish to apply in person at a Massachusetts office, find your closest location in this list below and call to schedule an appointment.

As an applicant, you will need to prepare documentation and evidence ahead of time to support your disability claim. These include but are not limited to:

  • Personal information like Social Security number, birth certificate or permanent residence card, vital information for you, your spouse, and a minor child
  • Medical records concerning your disability including contact information for doctors, caseworkers, or clinics. This applies to physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities
  • Past and current employment information

How To Appeal a Denial in Massachusetts

Unfortunately, many people will be denied benefits with their first application. The appeals process can be long, with many requests for a hearing taking over a year. It’s important to appeal as soon as you receive a denial. The appeals process is broken up into four levels.

Level 1: Reconsideration – Within 60 days you can request that a new SSA representative review your application.

Level 2: Disability Adjudication – Within 60 days of a denial from reconsideration, you can request a formal hearing with an administrative law judge. This can take upwards of a year. At this hearing, you will likely bring additional documentation and witnesses who can attest to the severity of your disability. You may wish to contact a law firm and consult with a Social Security disability lawyer at this stage.

Level 3: Appeal Council – Within another 60-day window, you have the opportunity to request an Appeals Council review previous decisions. At this stage, you will likely need a disability lawyer to represent you.

Level 4: District Court – This is the last option for appeal. At this level, you will request that a federal district court review the Appeals Court decision. There is only one federal district court in Massachusetts, located in Boston.

More Massachusetts Benefits


Many people who qualify for SSDI will also qualify for SSI benefits. When you apply for SSDI, the SSA will determine concurrently if you are also eligible for SSI. SSI is for disabled adults, blind or disabled children, or those age 65+ with or without disabilities. All applicants must be low income (an individual must be making less than $814 a month in unearned income).

You may also be eligible under the Massachusetts State Supplement Program (SSP) which can add on to SSI payments, or supply payments if your income is too high to receive SSI. Statewide Employment Services (SES) and Project IMPACT are advocacy groups that provide free counseling to those receiving SSI payments. They also ensure those with disabilities have an equal opportunity when getting back into the workforce.

Massachusetts Medicaid

Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth) is health insurance available to any person earning less than $17,131 a month. This insurance covers standard doctor and hospital visits, mental health services, pharmacy, and home health among others. Most people who qualify for SSI will qualify for MassHealth.

Massachusetts Unemployment

Those who have lost their job through no fault of their own can apply for Massachusetts unemployment benefits, managed by the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance. Any employee who has earned enough income during their base period, who is actively looking for new work, and who is willing and able to take on new work is eligible.

What About Short-Term Disability in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts provides various short-term disability programs to support individuals facing temporary disabilities. As a rule of thumb, Massachusetts provides about 3-6 months of partial pay for temporarily-disabled individuals.

Short-Term Disability Programs in Massachusetts

Massachusetts offers several short-term disability programs, including the Massachusetts State Short-Term Disability Insurance (SDI) program and employer-sponsored disability plans. The Massachusetts SDI program provides income replacement for individuals unable to work due to non-work-related injuries, illnesses, or disabilities.

Employer-sponsored plans vary depending on the employer, providing temporary income replacement during a disability. Eligibility requirements, benefit duration, and payment amounts may differ between programs, emphasizing the importance of reviewing specific program details and consulting with employers or insurance providers.

Applying for Short-Term Disability Benefits

To apply for short-term disability benefits in Massachusetts, individuals must complete an application form and provide relevant medical documentation. This includes medical records, diagnosis details, treatment plans, and work restrictions from healthcare professionals. Some programs may require a waiting period before benefits begin. It is recommended to gather all necessary documentation, thoroughly review the application process, and ensure timely submission to expedite the benefits application.

Massachusetts Social Security Offices

SSA Field Office Locations in Massachusetts
Boston SSA Office10 Causeway Street Room 148
Boston, MA 2222
(866) 964-7311
Springfield SSA Office70 Bond Street
Springfield, MA 1104
(866) 964-5061
Cambridge SSA Office10 Fawcett St First Flr
Cambridge, MA 2138
(888) 527-9340
Roxbury SSA Office10 Malcolm X Blvd
Roxbury, MA 2119
(855) 278-4195
Lynn SSA Office140 Union Street
Lynn, MA 1901
(866) 366-7792
Lowell SSA Office151 Warren St Ste 300
Lowell, MA 1852
(877) 746-9850
Worcester SSA Office51 Myrtle St
Madison Place
Worcester, MA 1608
(866) 331-9069
Pittsfield SSA Office78 Center St
Federal Bldg Suite 101
Pittsfield, MA 1201
(866) 446-7111
New Bedford SSA Office53 North 6th Street
Hastings Keith Fed Bld
New Bedford, MA 2740
(866) 964-7413
Brockton SSA Office30 Christy Dr
Brockton, MA 2301
(888) 717-1524
Fitchburg SSA Office881 Main St 1st Floor
Philbin Fed Bldg
Fitchburg, MA 1420
(877) 319-0728
Lawrence SSA Office439 S Union St Suite 106A
Lawrence, MA 1843
(877) 669-3127
Fall River SSA Office400 North Main Street
Fall River, MA 2720
(866) 964-3967
Holyoke SSA Office200 High Street 2nd Floor
Holyoke, MA 1040
(877) 480-4989
Malden SSA Office192 Commercial St
Malden, MA 2148
(866) 596-8598
Salem SSA Office35 Congress St Suite 101
Salem, MA 1970
(866) 248-2394
Quincy SSA Office1515 Hancock St Suite 305
Quincy, MA 2169
(866) 593-4392
Dorchester SSA Office115 Freeport St
Dorchester, MA 2122
(866) 931-2550
Attleboro SSA Office106 Pleasant St
Attleboro, MA 2703
(888) 655-6469
Haverhill SSA Office367 Main St
Haverhill, MA 1830
(866) 964-4324
Waltham SSA Office135 Beaver Street Suite 120
Waltham, MA 2452
(877) 457-1737
Norwood SSA OfficeOne Edgewater Drive Suite 102
Norwood, MA 2062
(866) 563-9533
Framingham SSA OfficeOne Clarks Hill Suite 101
Framingham, MA 1702
(844) 587-1390
Hyannis SSA Office100 Independence Dr Suite 4
Hyannis, MA 2601
(866) 467-0440
Roslindale SSA Office4238 Washington St
Roslindale, MA 2131
(866) 331-9173
Taunton SSA Office104 Dean St
Taunton, MA 2780
(877) 505-4546
Hanover SSA Office198 Columbia Rd Ste 1
Hanover, MA 2339
(877) 444-6898
Falmouth SSA Office48 Research Rd
Technology Park
East Falmouth, MA 2536
(855) 881-0212
North Adams SSA Office96 Marshall Street
North Adams, MA 1247
(877) 319-5709
Gardner SSA Office354 Main St Suite 2
Gardner, MA 1440
(844) 371-8116

Massachusetts Hearing and Appeal Offices

Massachusetts is in Region 1 (Boston), which services Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Region 1 – SSA Office of Hearing Operations in Massachusetts
SSA Hearing Office – Boston10 Causeway Street, Suite 565
Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Fed Bldg
Boston, MA 02222
(888) 870-7578
SSA Hearing Office – BostonOne Bowdoin Square 4th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
88) 870-7573
SSA Hearing Office – Lawrence439 South Union Street Suite 301
Lawrence, MA 01843
(877) 405-9189
SSA Hearing Office – Springfield1441 Main Street Suite 450
Springfield, MA 01103
(866) 964-5058

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