INCOME

If everything goes well with your case, you
will be receiving workers compensation.
But the system is unfair, so here are other
possible sources of income. You may be
able to collect some of them in addition to
workers compensation.

Social Security Administration
70 Bond St., Springfield, MA 01104
(413) 785-5725
200 High St., Holyoke, MA 01060
(413) 536-3649
(800) 772-1213; www.ssa.gov

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
The criteria and process for determining
disability are the same as SSDI, but these
benefits are available to people who do not
have a long work history. You may be
disqualified if you have substantial assets.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
You may qualify for benefits if you have
worked for a number of years and are now
totally and permanently disabled. The Social Security Administration defines permanent,
total disability differently than does workers
compensation law. Social Security considers
you permanently, totally disabled if you
cannot perform gainful, substantial
employment for at least one year. You may
be eligible to collect both workers
compensation and Social Security disability.
More importantly, if you lose or settle your workers
compensation case, Social Security
disability may be the only income you have
to fall back on. You do not have to be out of
work for a year before you can apply; you
only have to have a doctor say that your
disability is expected to last that long.
Benefits are retroactive only one year prior
to the time of your application, so it is
important to apply early. The process may
take a long time, and you may be very
discouraged. If you are denied, APPEAL! It
is not unusual for people to be denied twice
and have to face a hearing before a judge.
You can collect SSDI even if you have
substantial assets, such as savings or a
house. SSDI recipients are allowed to earn a
certain amount of money each month, and
there are provisions in the law for trial work
months, but the rules are complicated. See
BenePlan in the retraining section for more information.

Disability insurance.
Find out if you are covered by disability
insurance through work. You may be able to
collect private disability in addition to
workers compensation or SSDI.

Accidental Disability Retirement
State Board of Retirement

(617) 367-7770
www.state.ma.us/treasury/srb.htm
If you have worked in the public sector for a
number of years, you may not be eligible for
SSDI. You may be able to obtain disability
benefits through the state, however.

Transitional Assistance Emergency Aid to
Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC)

100 Front St., Holyoke
(413) 552-5400
95 Liberty St., Springfield
(413) 858-1000
310 State St., Springfield
(413) 858-1300
75 S. Church St., Pittsfield
(413) 236-2000
One Arch Place, Greenfield
(413) 772-3400; 774-3728, TTY
Berkshire Plaza, 37 Main St., North Adams
(413) 663-1100, TTY
EAEDC is an emergency assistance program
for the elderly, the disabled, and for children
and their families who do not qualify for
TAFDC, SSI, or other similar programs. It is
for Massachusetts residents who are U.S.
citizens or eligible non-citizens. EAEDC is
for individuals and families with few
resources and low income. You may have
resources (cash, bank accounts, etc.) worth
up to $250 per individual or $500 per
family. The income limits depend on your
household size and living situation.

Transitional Aid to Families with
Dependent Children (TAFDC or Welfare)

TAFDC is an assistance program for
families with dependent children and for
pregnant women in the last four months of
pregnancy. To be eligible, you must be a
U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and a
resident of Massachusetts. TAFDC is
for families whose incomes and assets are
not enough to meet the basic needs of their
children. Total countable assets
(cash, savings, etc.) cannot be greater than
$2500 per family. Income limits depend
on your family size, living situation,
and ability to work. You must work a
minimum of 20 hours per week to be
eligible for TAFDC. Some people, such as
the disabled, seniors, and women in the last
4 months of pregnancy, are exempt from this
requirement and do not have to work.
All children under 14 must attend school
regularly. Teen parents must also meet
school attendance requirements.

Unemployment Benefits
Toll-free (877) 626-6800
Some injured workers apply for
unemployment benefits out of desperation.
Unfortunately, unemployment benefits were
not designed for injured workers. The
application asks if you are able to work, and
you are required to be looking for work
while collecting. Some injured workers
apply for unemployment out of desperation
when they are having trouble getting
workers comp. This may be used against
them later. If you lose your case, and then
apply for unemployment benefits, you may
find you are ineligible because you have not
worked for a long time. Another Catch-22!

Veterans Administration
1985 Main St.
Springfield, MA 01101
(800) 827-1000

Massachusetts Department
of Veteran Services

600 Washington St.
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 727-3578
Call your local veterans agent to request a
publication called Veterans Benefits Book.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service
of Southern New England

(800) 208-2227, (888) 868-5138
If you fall behind on your bills, this
nonprofit organization may be able to help
you. The fee for a counseling session is $10,
but sometimes the fee can be waived. Their
counselors provide information about a
variety of financial issues, including
bankruptcy, fair debt collection practices,
debt management plans, housing counseling
plans. They can also work out a plan for
repaying your creditors.