February 14, 2019

Social Security Disability & Benefits in MA

Disability can happen to anyone at any age. It is estimated that more than one-in-four 20-year-olds will become disabled before reaching retirement age. Luckily, there are programs in place to help. Although Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) are both income supplement programs for disabled people and have similar names, they are different programs. Here are the major differences:


  • Need-based federal income supplement program
  • Funded by general tax funds
  • Provides benefits to elderly, blind, and disabled persons (including children) who have limited income and resources regardless of employment history


  • Federal income supplement program based on work credits
  • Funded by payroll taxes
  • Provides benefits to blind and disabled persons who are “insured” through past work experience

You can apply for both SSI and SSDI by registering online, calling 1-800-772-1213, or visiting your local Social Security office.

Additionally, for people receiving SSI, Massachusetts can add additional funds to SSI payments through the Massachusetts State Supplement Program (SSP). To find out whether you are eligible for SSP, click here.

If you have legal questions or would like assistance applying for SSI/SSDI, you can call the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617-742-0625, connect with an area online 24/7 by clicking “Get Started” here, or by submitting an email request online today.

Concerns about affording an attorney should not stop you from using the Lawyer Referral Service. Most attorneys will take SSI/SSDI cases on contingency – meaning you do not have to pay up-front fees, and the attorney will be paid their fee only if they win the disability claim.