The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

2. How disabled do you have to be to receive benefits?

Under the EAEDC rules you are disabled if:

■       you have one or more impairments;

■       that substantially reduce your ability to support yourself; and

■       that will last at least 60 days.

                         See 106 C.M.R. § 703.191.

This means you cannot perform full-time work of any sort.

For example, you may be eligible if you injured your back and cannot lift objects you used to lift when you worked; or if you are now in too much pain to sit comfortably for long periods of time; or if you suffer from both depression and asthma which, in combination, substantially limit your ability to work.

The critical test is whether your impairment(s) reduce your ability to support yourself. For example:

  • If you have physical impairments, do they affect your ability to perform physical maneuvers, including sitting, standing, walking, lifting, etc.?
  • If you have mental health impairments, do they affect mental activities such as concentrating, remembering, getting along with others, etc.?
Advocacy Reminders:

ü  The EAEDC standard is not as strict as SSI.

ü  You do not need to show that you are totally disabled.

ü  Even if you can still work part time, you may be eligible as a disabled person.


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