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SSDI Benefits in Massachusetts

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program aimed at assisting Massachusetts residents who have become disabled and are unable to work. SSDI is funded through payroll taxes, and you pay into it every time you receive a paycheck, similar to an insurance policy.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is the government agency that oversees and manages the SSDI program. The agency processes applications, evaluates eligibility based on set criteria, and pays the benefits to eligible individuals. The SSA also oversees the ongoing eligibility of recipients, ensuring they still meet the program's requirements over time.

How to Qualify for SSDI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses a detailed 5-step process to evaluate whether SSDI applicants have a qualifying disability.

1. Work Status Evaluation

The SSA first looks at whether an applicant is working. If an applicant isn't working or their work doesn't qualify as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), the SSA forwards the application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) for further evaluation.

2. Severity of Condition

The DDS assesses whether an applicant's condition significantly restricts them from performing basic work-related tasks, such as lifting, standing, walking, and sitting for at least a year. If the condition does not meet this level of severity, the applicant will not be considered disabled.

3. Comparison to Listed Conditions

The DDS then checks if the applicant's condition is listed in the SSA's catalog of severe medical conditions. If the condition isn't listed, the DDS evaluates the condition on a case-by-case basis. Only conditions that meet or equate to the listed conditions are considered disabling. The SSA has initiatives like Compassionate Allowances and Quick Disability Determinations to expedite the processing of certain claims.

4. Ability to Perform Past Work

The DDS then considers if the applicant can perform any of their past work despite their condition. If an applicant can do so, they will not be considered disabled. However, if they can't, the evaluation moves to the next step.

5. Ability to Perform Other Work

The final step is an evaluation of whether the applicant can do any other type of work considering their medical condition, age, education, past work experience, and transferable skills. If the DDS determines that the applicant can't do other work, they qualify for disability benefits. If the applicant can do other work, the SSA determines they do not have a qualifying disability, and their claim is denied.

This five-step process helps the SSA make an informed and fair decision.

How to Apply for SSDI in Massachusetts

Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in Massachusetts involves a few important steps.

You can start your application process online at the official Social Security Administration (SSA) website. Creating a mySocialSecurity account allows you to fill out and submit your application at any time.

You can also apply by phone or visit a local SSA office in person. If you have trouble with your application or need help, you can call the SSA at 1-800-772-1213.

Apply for SSDI Benefits Online: https://secure.ssa.gov/iClaim/dib

Apply By Phone: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8:00 am - 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Be prepared to provide detailed information about your medical condition and your work history. Make sure to document the impact of your disability on your daily life and ability to work. Provide comprehensive and accurate information to help speed up the application process.

Information Needed to Apply for SSDI in Massachusetts

When applying for SSDI, you need to provide several pieces of information. The following documents are required for your application:

  • Your Social Security number and birth certificate
  • Names, addresses, and phone numbers of doctors, caseworkers, hospitals, and clinics that took care of you and the dates of your visits
  • Detailed medical records, including laboratory and test results
  • Names and dosages of the medications you are taking
  • A summary of your work history, including the kind of work you did and the places you worked
  • Your most recent W-2 form or federal tax return

Collecting and organizing these documents beforehand can simplify your application process.

What Is a Disability Advocate?

A disability advocate is a certified professional who can help you navigate the SSDI application process.

Disability advocates understand the complexities of the SSA rules and regulations and can assist you with your disability claim.

An advocate can be especially useful if your initial application is denied, which is unfortunately all too common. They know how to appeal decisions, what evidence is needed, and how to present your case during the appeal.

Although hiring a disability advocate isn't required, it can significantly increase your chances of having your application approved. Advocates work on a contingency basis, which means they only get paid if your claim is approved and you receive back pay. They are motivated to help you succeed.

In Massachusetts, several organizations provide disability advocacy services. Before hiring an advocate, make sure they are accredited by the SSA. An experienced advocate can make the SSDI application process less stressful and more successful.

SSI Program in Massachusetts

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is another federal assistance program designed to provide financial help to MA residents who have limited income and resources, and who are either 65 or older, blind, or disabled.

Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is based on prior work history, SSI isn't based on prior work history. Instead, it is determined by financial need.

To qualify for SSI in Massachusetts, you must belong to one of the following groups:

  • Adults aged 65 and above
  • People who are blind
  • People who are unable to work because of a disability

To apply for SSI in Massachusetts, you can apply online, by phone, or in person. Be prepared to provide detailed financial and medical information.

Apply for SSI Benefits Online: https://www.ssa.gov/ssi/start.html

Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213

Remember, while both SSI and SSDI assist disabled individuals, they have different eligibility criteria. SSI is based on financial need, while SSDI is based on your prior work history and work credits.

Massachusetts - Social Security Disability Office Locations

Office Code Name Address Weekday Hours Phone Number
030 BOSTON MA Rm 148, 10 Causeway St, Boston, MA 02222 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-7311
031 SPRINGFIELD MA 70 Bond St, Springfield, MA 01104 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-5061
032 CAMBRIDGE MA 1st Flr, 10 Fawcett St, Cambridge, MA 02138 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-527-9340
033 ROXBURY MA 10 Malcolm X Blvd, Roxbury, MA 02119 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-278-4195
034 LYNN MA 140 Union St, Lynn, MA 01901 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-366-7792
035 LOWELL MA Ste 300, 151 Warren St, Lowell, MA 01852 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-746-9850
036 WORCESTER MA Madison Place, 51 Myrtle St, Worcester, MA 01608 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-331-9069
038 NEW BEDFORD MA Hastings Keith Fed Bld, 53 North 6th St, New Bedford, MA 02740 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-7413
039 BROCKTON MA 30 Christy Dr, Brockton, MA 02301 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-717-1524
041 LAWRENCE MA Ste 106 A, 439 S Union St, Lawrence, MA 01843 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-669-3127
042 FALL RIVER MA 400 North Main St, Fall River, MA 02720 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-3967
044 HOLYOKE MA 2nd Fl, 200 High St, Holyoke, MA 01040 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-480-4989
045 MALDEN MA 192 Commercial St, Malden, MA 02148 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-596-8598
047 QUINCY MA Ste 305, 1515 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-593-4392
053 FRAMINGHAM MA Ste 101, One Clarks Hill, Framingham, MA 01702 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 844-587-1390
037 PITTSFIELD MA Federal Bldg Ste 101, 78 Center St, Pittsfield, MA 01201 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-446-7111
040 FITCHBURG MA Philbin Fed Bldg, 881 Main St 1st Floor, Fitchburg, MA 01420 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-319-0728
046 SALEM MA Ste 101, 35 Congress St, Salem, MA 01970 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-248-2394
048 DORCHESTER MA 115 Freeport St, Dorchester, MA 02122 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-931-2550
049 ATTLEBORO MA 106 Pleasant St, Attleboro, MA 02703 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 888-655-6469
050 HAVERHILL MA 367 Main St, Haverhill, MA 01830 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-964-4324
051 WALTHAM MA Ste 120, 135 Beaver St, Waltham, MA 02452 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-457-1737
052 NORWOOD MA Ste 102, One Edgewater Dr, Norwood, MA 02062 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-563-9533
054 HYANNIS MA 100 Independence Dr, Suite 4, Hyannis, MA 02601 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-467-0440
056 ROSLINDALE MA 4238 Washington St, Roslindale, MA 02131 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 866-331-9173
057 TAUNTON MA 104 Dean St, Taunton, MA 02780 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-505-4546
B87 HANOVER MA Ste 1, 198 Columbia Rd, Hanover, MA 02339 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-444-6898
B88 FALMOUTH MA Technology Park, 48 Research Rd, East Falmouth, MA 02536 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 855-881-0212
C67 NORTH ADAMS MA 96 Marshall St, North Adams, MA 01247 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 877-319-5709
C69 GARDNER MA 354 Main St Ste 2, Gardner, MA 01440 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM 844-371-8116