Anyone who has a loved one who has suffered from a disability and is suddenly thrust into the role of a caregiver might be overwhelmed and might not know where to begin looking for help. This resource sheet gathers some of the available resources and provides a checklist of the important information you will need when applying for disability services.
Information Needed When Applying for Disability Services
This is the information that is needed to apply for disability services, no matter what organizations you work with. Here is what you will need:
- Social Security Number/Card
- Medical Records – Any information from doctors, therapists, hospitals, or clinics that might be necessary during the application process.
- Medical Provider Contact Info – The names, addresses, phone, and fax numbers for anyone involved in the individual’s care.
- Labs and Test Results
- List of Medications – Include the dosage and frequency of use information as well.
- Employment Information – A list of the individual’s employers, employment dates, and a listing of job duties for the last 15 years.
- School Evaluations and Records – These school records are critical for any child with special needs because they document the issues that may impact the eligibility and scope of services offered.
- Financial Information
Massachusetts Disability Services Resources
Here are some of the best resources available for Massachusetts residents:
- Massachusetts Office on Disability (MOD)– This is one of the best places to begin your hunt for information. It provides contact information to get questions answered as well as links to various services.
- gov Disability Benefits page–Offered by the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), this page guides you through the eligibility determination process.
- org– This page provides links to a variety of basic programs and services for people with Disabilities. Everything from legal advocacy and assistive durable medical equipment to personal care and transportation assistance is covered on this page. This is a fantastic place to begin your research.
- Disability Benefits Center– This page has a free disability evaluation to determine if you qualify for services. This page is geared toward SSDI and SSI eligibility and recommends that you hire a Massachusetts social security disability attorney.
- Massachusetts Disability Resources and Advocacy Organizations– Created by OlmsteadRights.org, an advocacy group formed based on the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Olmstead v. L.C., this site has a massive list of links to all sorts of disability services, organizations, and information of interest for anyone needing help for someone with a disability.
Finding Local Caregiver Resources
Caregivers are impacted just as much as the individual who was disabled and often need help as well. There are many local organizations and support groups around that can help. Speaking to your doctors or therapists is a great place to start. Other local resources to check out include churches and religious organizations, libraries, and community services groups.
Caregiver Resources from Global Organizations
There are many global organizations that provide information and support for caregivers of those with disabilities. Here are a few online resources to check out:
- The Family Caregiver Alliance– This site offers support for anyone in a family caregiver role regardless of that family member’s disability.
- ARCH National Respite Network– This is a group that can help you locate respite care in your area. Everyone needs a break sometimes and this group can help you find respite care you can feel confident in whether you need that care for a disabled child or an elderly parent.
- AARP– This organization is all about helping seniors live their best lives but they also have information and support for caregivers of those seniors.
- VA Caregiver Support– If you are caring for a veteran, some of their needs may be different than those of civilians. VA Caregiver Support can offer help and information specific to caregivers of veterans whether it is navigating the VA system or dealing with service-related health conditions and injuries.
- Well Spouse Association– The Well Spouse Association offers help and support for those who are the caregiver to their spouse. Most of us promise in our wedding vows that we will be there in sickness and in health but wanting to be there and knowing how to help our partners and be their advocate can take practice and support.
Selecting and purchasing durable medical equipment for your loved one is another important decision (among many) that you will need to do. Let us help you. We have been selling and installing durable medical equipment such as Surehands lift systems and Bruno Stair Lifts in Massachusetts since 1993, so we do understand what you are going through. Give us a call at (508) 465-5254 or fill out this online contact form and let us be your advocate when making these important decisions.