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How do you qualify for a disability exemption?


DTA made a number of changes and suspended a number of rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Guide notes in red when a rule was suspended during the pandemic.

Produced by Deborah Harris and Betsy Gwin, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2022

Under DTA temporary pandemic procedures, you can qualify for a disability exemption by stating that you cannot participate in work activities because of a disability. DTA Online Guide Transmittal 2021-94 (Nov. 26, 2021). The rules below are the rules before the pandemic.

You qualify for a disability exemption if you have an illness or impairment expected to last for at least 30 days, and

  • you are an SSI or Social Security disability recipient, or
  • the Disability Evaluation Service determines that you meet the requirements for SSI, or
  • your condition matches the signs, symptoms and test results in DTA’s list of medical impairments, or
  • your impairments reduce your ability to work considering your age, education, and work experience. DTA Field Operations Memo 2010-30 (July 1, 2010); DTA Transitions, June 2009, p. 7.

The Disability Evaluation Service (DES) reviews the medical information and your Disability Supplement and decides whether you meet DTA’s disability rules.

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