Article Index

This section will summarize major available needs programs for income-eligible disabled persons:

  1. Subsidized rental housing programs
  2. Food stamps and other food assistance programs
  3. Energy assistance programs
  4. Home care assistance programs
  5. Transportation assistance programs
  6. Prescription help
  7. Other social service programs

Each major program area is specifically discussed as they are operated in Massachusetts; however, many of these programs are federally-sponsored and are available in other states (including housing, fuel assistance and food stamps). Other states will also administer their own needs programs, in a variety of areas, at both the state and local level.

There is one information and referral Service in Massachusetts for multiple needs programs/resources

Mass211 Information and referral services:

In Massachusetts, there is an excellent website Massachusetts 211 Help Steps which provides a wealth of information on the many different programs available to income eligible disabled and non-disabled persons. It is the website for the major Information and Referral Service for a host of human services called  Massachusetts 211.

In addition to using the website to get connected to the help you need where you live, you can simply pick up the phone and dial 211.

You can get information on food banks, clothing, shelters, rent and utility assistance, medical information lines, support groups, counseling, rehabilitation, health insurance programs, Medicaid and Medicare, unemployment benefits, financial assistance, transportation, home care, meals on wheels, respite care, homemaker services, and other services too numerous to list here. You will speak to a live person, who by using your zip code can access a major data base of services closest to where you live. It is truly an excellent resource. 211 telephone assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are confidential. Besides Massachusetts, it is available in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

The following are some of the major types of services/resources provided:

  • Elder care resources, which include help applying for Medicare and Medicaid and obtaining transportation.
  • Food assistance, which includes help for food stamps, food pantries, and other programs.
  • Housing programs, which include help for accessing subsidized housing, maintenance and repairs, and many other programs. For a complete list of housing programs, please see the Housing section below.
  • Income/Financial Assistance.
  • Legal Aid.
  • Medical Care & Insurance, which you can use to find Community health centers, Dental care, help applying for Medicaid and Medicare, and help paying for medical bills, medications, and medical supplies.
  • Mental Health, which offers resources for identifying counseling and mental health services, as well as suicide hotlines and interventions.
  • Special Health Care Needs, which covers financial assistance, job support, legal services, living assistance and social support, and advocacy for individuals with special needs, and also help getting health insurance.
  • Transportation, which covers bus passes, discounted public transportation, free rides, and transportation for individuals with special needs.