8. What is the Disability Supplement and who signs it?

The "Disability Supplement" is a form that asks questions about your condition, doctors, hospitalizations, medications, work history, education, training, and the impact of your disability on your ability to work. See Appendix B.

You will be asked to fill out and sign the form when you apply and when your case is being reviewed, unless you have been approved for SSI or you participate in a Mass. Rehab. Commission training program.

Ask your DTA worker for assistance if you need help filling out the supplement. 106 C.M.R. § 702.315(B)(1)(b). You may also take the form home and get help from a nurse, social worker or friend.

DTA has translated the Disability Supplement into Spanish if you need it. If you speak another foreign language, ask DTA for help.

The Disability Supplement is the place for you to fully explain your health problems and limits. Be sure to list:

■       problems you have speaking, understanding, reading or writing English;

■       limits on how far you can walk, sit or stand;

■       limits on how much you can lift, bend, reach;

■       problems you have remembering things, paying attention or following directions;

■       problems you have shopping for food, cleaning or taking public transportation;

■       any other problems you have doing daily activities.

The Disability Evaluation Service (DES) will look at all the information you provide, as well as the statements your health care provider has made about your functional abilities to sit, stand, walk, lift and carry items. It is important that you emphasize and fully explain all of your limitations on the Disability Supplement.

Examples: The Disability Supplement asks for information about your daily activities:

  • If you cook for yourself but you can only reheat food that has been prepared by others and must rest after standing for a short while, write this down in the report.
  • If you do your own shopping but can only carry home one small bag at a time, write this down.

Otherwise DES will think that you can do more than you really can do.

Advocacy Reminders:

ü  The Disability Supplement is not a resume. Describe on the form not only what you can do, but also what you cannot do.

ü  Think about what you can really do 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.

ü  List all your medications and treatment and their side effects.

ü  Be sure to sign all medical release forms.

  • If the information on your supplement is incomplete, your DTA worker will call you into the office to have the supplement completed.
  • You are not required to chase down medical records but it may help your
    case if you can. If you need a specialist to evaluate your condition, be sure
     to say this on your Disability Supplement. Be sure to describe any pain, unusual fatigue, medicines, treatment and side effects. If DES schedules an examination, it is very important that you go. Be sure to call in advance if
    you must reschedule.

ü  You can appeal a decision that you are not disabled or you can reapply.

DTA Policy Guidance:

      Faxed, scanned and photo copies of the original, signed supplement are acceptable forms of verification. DTA Operations Memo 2012-32 (July 11, 2012).

            DTA Online Guide: EAEDC > Categorical Requirements > Disability >Disability Overview; et seq.