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Massachusetts disability benefits

How to Apply for Disability Benefits in Massachusetts

Written by
Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney
Jackie Jakab
Lead Attorney
May 24, 2024  ·  1 min read
Why trust us?

Atticus offers free, high-quality disability advice for Americans who can't work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard-trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience and has helped over 50,000 Americans apply for disability benefits.

See if you qualify

If you live in Massachusetts and are unable to work due to injury or illness, you may qualify for federal disability benefits programs. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), more than 195,000 Massachusetts residents currently receive monthly assistance through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

As a Massachusetts resident, you have access to these federal programs, too. Read on to learn more about their eligibility requirements and how to apply for the benefits you need.


How to apply for benefits in Massachusetts

There are several ways to apply for disability benefits in Massachusetts:

  • Online: Visit the SSA’s website to complete your application from the comfort of your home.

  • Phone: If you prefer to speak with someone, you can apply over the phone by calling your local Social Security field office.

  • In person: Visiting a local SSA office can provide you with a more personalized experience. If you want to reduce your wait time, schedule an appointment in advance.

Hire a great disability lawyer in Massachusetts

Application Forms

When applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, you will need to complete two forms:

  • Form SSA-16: This form is the primary application for Social Security Disability Insurance. On it you’ll provide your basic contact information, demographic information, and details about your finances, along with other information.

  • Form SSA-3368: This form provides detailed information about your medical condition and is essential for both SSDI and SSI applications.


3 tips for your disability application

By ensuring you’ve filled out your forms as accurately and completely as possible, you can increase your chances of securing benefits with your initial application. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Be honest and precise: Provide accurate and concise information about your disability and work history. Detail the specific ways your disability impacts your daily life. For instance, explain that you can sit for only limited periods due to pain rather than describing broader lifestyle impacts.

  2. Maintain consistency: Make sure your responses are consistent throughout your forms. Inconsistencies can raise doubts about your credibility. For example, if you claim severe mobility restrictions, avoid mentioning activities in your application that suggest otherwise.

  3. Detail but don’t exaggerate: When describing your condition, be detailed enough to convey its severity and impact, but don’t overstate your symptoms in a way that may seem implausible.


SSA offices in Massachusetts

Applying for disability benefits may seem complex, but your local SSA office is there to help. Across Massachusetts, SSA staff can provide assistance every step of the way.

Attleboro

106 Pleasant St 

Attleboro, MA 02703

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 655-6469

Fax Number: (833) 926-1854

Boston

10 Causeway St Rm 148

Boston, MA 02222

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 964-7311

Fax Number: (833) 515-0457

Brockton

30 Christy Dr

Brockton, MA 02301

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 717-1524

Fax Number: (833) 902-2518

Cambridge

10 Fawcett St 1st Flr

Cambridge, MA 02138

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (888) 527-9340

Fax Number: (833) 515-0461

Dorchester

115 Freeport St

Dorchester, MA 02122

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 931-2550

Fax Number: (833) 926-1845

East Falmouth

48 Research Rd Technology Park

East Falmouth, MA 02536

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (855) 881-0212

Fax Number: (833) 950-3254

Fall River

400 North Main St 

Fall River, MA 02720

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (866) 964-3967

Fax Number: (833) 902-2524

Fitchburg

881 Main St 1St Floor Philbin Fed Bldg

Fitchburg, MA 01420

Hours: Monday - Friday 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Phone Number: (877) 319-0728

Fax Number: (833) 902-2520

See all SSA offices in Massachusetts


Do I need a lawyer to apply for benefits in Massachusetts?

While it's not mandatory to work with a disability lawyer when applying for benefits in Massachusetts, legal representation can improve your application's success rate by three times.

Here’s how a social security disability lawyer can assist you:

  • Completing applications: A lawyer ensures your application is complete and accurate, increasing your chances of approval.

  • Gathering medical records: Disability lawyers can help compile and organize the necessary medical documentation that substantiates your claim.

  • Navigating appeals: If the SSA denies your initial claim, a lawyer can guide you through the appeals process, helping to overturn the denial.

  • Preparing for hearings: If your claim proceeds to a hearing, a lawyer prepares you to present your case effectively in front of an administrative law judge (ALJ).

  • Representing you at hearings: A lawyer will represent you during disability hearings, advocating on your behalf and arguing your case.


How much are benefits in Massachusetts?

In 2024, the maximum monthly payment you can receive is $3,822 for SSDI and $943 for SSI.

The actual amount of benefits you receive each month will depend on factors like your previous earnings, overall financial resources, and other income. In Massachusetts, the average monthly payment is $1,834 for SSDI and $604 for SSI.

Estimate your disability benefit amount in just a few steps

We'll use the Social Security Administration's formula to estimate your monthly benefit.

Average
monthly check

$1,489


Get help applying for benefits in Massachusetts

The disability benefits process in Massachusetts doesn't have to be a solo journey. Start by taking our two-minute quiz to assess your eligibility for disability benefits. Once you’ve completed it, a dedicated member of our team will reach out to discuss the specifics of your situation.

We can also connect you with a disability lawyer who will help you through every step of the process. There are no upfront costs when you work with Atticus — you will only pay your lawyer a one-time fee after they have secured your benefits.

Frequently asked questions about disability in Massachusetts

What qualifies you for disability in Massachusetts?

To qualify for disability you need to have a condition that prevents you from working for at least a year. You’ll also need to meet certain work history requirements (for SSDI) or be within certain income limits (for SSI). For more on these requirements, read our full write up here.

What conditions qualify for disability in Massachusetts?

Any condition that will prevent you from working for a year or more can qualify for disability benefits. Some of the most common conditions include musculoskeletal disorders, mental disorders, nervous system diseases, and circulatory system diseases. See our full list of conditions that qualify here.

How long does it take to get approved for disability in Massachusetts?

It takes an average of 6.1 months to get an initial disability decision in Massachusetts. Most people who apply are initially rejected, and need to appeal this decision. If you appeal and go to a hearing, the process takes just over two years on average. Read more: How Long It Takes to Get Approved for Disability Benefits

How much does disability pay in Massachusetts?

The average SSDI payment in Massachusetts is $1,366.75 per month. The average SSI payment is $620.78. What you’ll earn depends on your income, or the amount you’ve historically paid into the Social Security program. Read more on what amount you can expect.

How should I prepare my disability application in Massachusetts?

Answer the application questions truthfully, consistently, and succinctly. You should also ensure that you gather and submit all your medical records with your application. The SSA paperwork can be complicated, so our legal team has written a full guide to the application here.

Does Massachusetts have a state disability program?

No, Massachusetts doesn't have its own state disability program. Only five states have a state program (California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island). Residents of Massachusetts can apply for federal disability programs (SSDI and SSI). Read more about SSDI and SSI here.

Related resources:

Massachusetts Disability Benefits

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

SSA Offices in Massachusetts

A hand drawn image of the lead disability lawyer.
By Jackie Jakab

See what you qualify for

How long has your condition made it hard to work?

Jackie Jakab, Disability Attorney

Jackie Jakab

Lead Attorney

Jackie Jakab is Atticus’s Legal Director. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, and has counseled thousands of people seeking disability benefits.
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