The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)

This is one of the agencies that you may work with to help with your child's Transition Plan.

You can call them anytime to ask what they can offer!

The Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission helps people with disabilities to live and work in their communities. They do this by providing the following: 1. Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), job training and support. 2. Community Living, life skills and personal suport. 3. Disability Determination Services (DDS), Help with SSI and SSDI.

The MRC includes these sections:

  1. Transition Services for Students and Youth: helps students from age 14 up to gain leadership skills and prepare for adult living and working

  2. Vocational Rehabilitation Program (VR): helps people to find a job

  3. Community Living Division (CL): helps people with developmental disabilities, head injuries or traumatic histories to live in the community as independently as possible

  4. Disability Determination Services (DDS): helps people to get federal benefits from the Social Security Administration. These include SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance)

To learn more:

  • Ask your IEP team what the MRC could offer your child.

  • Go to the Mass Rehab Commission Website. (Click on it to open in a new tab on your screen.) Or call them at 800-245-6543.

  • Click on the buttons below for more about each section.

  • Click on the link at the bottom of the page to download a 6-page brochure. (It will open in a new tab or appear in the bottom corner of your screen.)

MRC has a variety of programs for students with many levels of disability.

Here are some examples: 

  • Leadership training

  • Peer counseling and mentoring

  • Life skills training

  • Pre-Employment services like job counseling, job readiness training, and structured internships

To learn more, click on the links below. (They will each open in a new tab on your screen.)

MRC web pageTransition Services for Students and Youth

Brochures for students (2 pages)

Source: Mass Rehab Commission

This program helps people with disabilities to find and keep a job.

They work with high school students and people who are out of school.

 To be eligible (qualify) for these services, you must:

  • Have a physical or mental impairment that makes it hard for you to work

  • Want to work

  • Need services to train for a job, find one or keep one 

Examples of services:

  • Assessments

  • Training

  • Help with job placement

  • Supported work, job coaches, tutors

  • Pre-Employment Training Services (Pre-ETS) for students aged 14-22

  • Assistive technology or vehicle adaptations

  • There are many more!

How to apply:

Click on this Web page from Mass.gov to learn more: What is Vocational Rehabilitation?

Source: Mass Rehab Commission

This section of MRC offers support to help people live independently. There are several different programs that provide this help in different ways.

Examples of Community Living programs:

  • Adult Supported Living: a case coordinator will work with you to find out what support you need to live independently. This may include help to manage your household, finances, transportation or recreational activities.

  • Home Care Assistance: A person who comes to your home to help with basic needs like cooking, shopping, laundry, picking up medicine, etc.

  • Assistive Technology: help with devices and equipment that let you communicate, move around and do the tasks of daily life

  • Protective Services: they follow up if you suspect someone of abusing a person with a disability

  • There are more!

How to learn more or apply:

  • Call the main office at: 800-245-6543.

  • Explain your disability and ask for a consultation. They will meet with you and learn about your goals and needs for support. Then they will help you apply to the programs that fit your needs.

This section of MRC helps people to apply for government benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

SSI: Supplemental Security Income 

  • It's a US government program that gives monthly payments to people who have low income and not many resources.

 SSDI: Social Security Disability Insurance

  • This programs is tied to the Social Security retirement program, but it's for people who are disabled before retirement age.

How to learn more or apply:

Sources: Mass Rehab Commission, Social Security Administration

SSI is a program of the US federal government. It gives monthly payments to people who have low income and few resources.

What can SSI do for my family?: SSI can help pay for basic needs like food, housing, clothing and more. SSI can make your family member qualify right away for Medicaid, and maybe other state insurance programs.

Go to our SSI Guide to learn about this benefit and how to apply.

How do you qualify for SSI? YOu must meet guidelines for disabilty, income and resources.

Qualifying for SSI: how it's different for children and adults: For age 17 and under, the definition of disability includes life skills fur for ages 18 and over it also includes the ability to work. For age 17 and under, SSI looks at the income and resources of the parents. For 18 and over, SSI just counts the income and resources that are in the person's own name.

Sources: Social Security, Jackins (2010)

Your child may be able to get SSDI if one of their parents:

  • Is retireddeceased, OR disabled themselves and is collecting SSDI, and

  • Has worked and paid into the Social Security system for at least 10 years

If your child is 17 or younger:

  • They may collect benefits until they turn 18, or 19 if enrolled in school

If your child is 18 or older:

  • They may qualify for SSDI based on their own work record

  • They may qualify under your work record and get benefits for life. In this case, their disability must have started before age 22

Sources: Social Security, Jackins (2010), disabilitysecrets.org

If your child has a mobility impairment, click on the box below to learn about the Turning 22 Transition Pogram.

There are 3 Parts:

  1. Supported Living: A case coordinator will work with your child in their home to help them manage daily activities, then when they leave school, help them find a place to live and in-home support.

  2. Transition to Adulthood (TAP): Your child will connect with a peer counselor and get training to build their independent living skills.

  3. Ancillary Supports: Money is sometimes available to help buy adaptive equipment like specialized computers, communication devices, or home modifications.

To learn more, call 800-223-2559.

Or click on the titles below. Each one will open in a new tab on your screen.

Source: MRC

Source: Mass Rehab Commission

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