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How do I show DTA I am disabled?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed June 2023

Under the SNAP rules, you are considered to be disabled if you receive any of the following federal, state or private (pension) benefits:

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or Social Security Disability benefits,
  • EAEDC cash assistance benefits, based on a severe disability,
  • Certain disability retirement pensions, 
  • Railroad retirement disability benefits,
  • Veteran’s disability benefits or benefits for a spouse or children, depending on severity of disability,
  • MassHealth (Medicaid) for persons with disabilities (or if you had a disability determination), or
  • TAFDC cash benefits where DTA determined the parent qualified as disabled (thus exempt from the TAFDC work rules and time limits)

Cash Assistance Disability Determinations

If you receive EAEDC or TAFDC cash assistance, in order to meet the SNAP disability criteria, you must meet the SSI standards of disability.

Currently, to show DTA you are severely disabled, DTA will ask you to complete an “EAEDC Medical Provider Statement” form. The form asks a medical provider to explain if your disability will last for 12 months or more or result in death. If they say yes, then DTA should list you as meeting the SNAP disability criteria in your case record.

MassHealth Disability Determination

The MassHealth application asks a question about whether someone has a disability. If the answer is yes, and Social Security hasn’t already decided someone is disabled, MassHealth will mail out a MassHealth Disability Supplement to be completed and sent back to DES for a disability determination. Qualifying for MassHealth on the basis of disability may enable some people to qualify for more health benefits than if they were not disabled.

Even if you already have MassHealth and do not need more health coverage, you can still seek a disability determination from MassHealth. Having the DES disability determination and qualifying for MassHealth based on disability may allow you to claim your out-of-pocket medical expenses and actual shelter costs that can boost your SNAP benefit. 

People already on MassHealth who didn’t answer "yes" to the disability question at the time they applied can report a change at any time by just calling MassHealth, or, if they have an online account, by updating the application for themselves to indicate they have a disability. After doing this, instead of waiting to get the MassHealth Disability Supplement in the mail, they can download it from the MassHealth website.

See copies of the MassHealth Adult or Child Disability Supplement including the medical release forms in English or Spanish.

For help completing the form or for other languages, call the DES Help Line at (888) 497-9890.

Start this process by completing and submitting the disability supplement paperwork as soon as possible. It is possible that DTA may issue you back benefits based on disability.

See MLRI’s chart on the difference between MassHealth Standard and MassCare Plus for more information.

Immigrants and Disability Determinations

Legally present immigrants (LPR, parolees, battered) who are typically subject to the 5-year waiting period can be eligible without the waiting period if they get EAEDC and are severely disabled. DTA uses the information in the “EAEDC Medical Provider Statement” form to verify disability to skip the 5-year bar. See If I am a disabled immigrant, do I need to wait five years for SNAP?

DTA Online Guide: See Appendix G for links to the DTA's BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section. 

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