- Last Updated: 05 November 2023 05 November 2023
This area of the website provides important information on many forms of needed assistance for those who have become either partially or fully disabled due to chronic illness and must, therefore, reduce their work hours/tasks or stop working altogether.
While most of the information below is general, or applies to ME/CFS or Fibromyalgia, there is a separate article on Long COVID and Social Security Disability.
Job Accommodations: For those who can continue to work part-time with reduced hours and/or responsibilities, state and federal laws require many employers to provide disabled patients with reasonable job accommodations.
Disability Insurance Programs: For those who are too sick to work, there are a variety of disability insurance programs that provide income assistance. These include: 1) Employee Disability Insurance; 2) Social Security Disability Insurance and Income; 3) Workman’s Compensation; 4) Public Sector Disability Retirement.
Health/Medical Insurance for the disabled: For those who lose their employee medical insurance due to disability, the federal and state governments offer medical insurance programs including Medicare, Medicaid, COBRA, the Affordable Care Act, Commonwealth Care, and Commonwealth Choice. These programs also include prescription drug coverage. Pharmaceutical companies also provide free or low cost prescriptions for those with low incomes.
Housing Assistance: Federal and state governments provide various types of subsidized housing for the disabled who meet financial eligibility requirements.
Food, Energy, Home Care, Transportation, Prescription Drug, and Legal Assistance programs: Federal, state, and local governments, as well as private agencies, offer these types of assistance to the disabled.
Disability Handbook: More detailed information on applying for Social Security Disability is found in the Massachusetts ME/CFS & FM Disability Handbook: How to Obtain Social Security Benefits if You Have Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS).