How Money Damages and Settlements Impact Selected Public Benefits


The following chart provides an overview of the income and asset limits for common public benefits, healthcare, and housing assistance programs, and highlight rules regarding the treatment of lump sums from money damages payments and settlements. The chart is primarily intended for use by legal services advocates in Massachusetts, and it provides practice notes and tips for advocates. Importantly, this chart does not contain every rule that might affect the treatment of damages by public benefits programs. In addition, the rules for various programs are subject to change.

Thank you to the many advocates who contributed to the creation of and revisions to this chart, including: Patricia Baker, Mass. Law Reform Institute; Rachel Shannon Brown, Community Legal Aid; Annette Duke, Mass. Law Reform Institute; Susan Hegel, Cambridge and Somerville Legal Services; Marion Hohn, Central West Justice Center; Linda Landry, Disability Law Center; Vicky Negus, Mass. Law Reform Institute, and Vicky Pulos, Mass. Law Reform Institute.

If you have suggestions for updates to this chart, please contact Betsy Gwin at Mass. Law Reform Institute: