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Information and Referral

Our Information and Referral specialists are often a consumer’s first point of contact with BCIL, providing information on disability issues and referring consumers to the appropriate people at BCIL, or other agencies, for assistance with the hundreds of concerns they may have.

FIRST TIME VISITORS to our web site should read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below as they may contain the information you are looking for, or help connect you to the right department at BCIL. From there we will be able to help you with issues such as:

FAQ's

  1. Housing
    1. Where Should I apply for Public Housing?
    2. Where Should I apply for Private Housing?
    3. Does BCIL have rental assistance for people who can not pay their rent?
    4. What agencies provide rental/utility assistance?
    5. I am homeless but I do not want to stay in a shelter.
    6. I need to find a shelter, who can I call.
    7. Are you a residential agency or do you own housing that you can place me in?
    8. I know someone that needs to live in a group home. Where can I find help?
    9. I need physical assistance. How could I live in an independent apartment?
    10. Does BCIL have any roommate services for people looking to live with other disabled individuals?
    11. I do not own a computer but I need to search for housing, where can I go?
  2. Financial Assistance
    1. Does BCIL have financial assistance for rent, utilities or equipment?
    2. What about funds for home modifications to make my home accessible?
    3. I need to make my house accessible. How do I get started?
  3. General Disability Questions
    1. I am newly disabled and I have no idea of where to begin to get services. How can BCIL help me?
  4. Social Security
    1. I am having a problem obtaining social security assistance can BCIL help me?
  5. MassHealth
    1. I was rejected by MassHealth. What can I do?
  6. Legal Services
    1. Can BCIL help me with a legal issue?
    2. I believe that I have been a victim of disability discrimination. Who can help me?
    3. I am being emotionally/physically abused by someone (caretaker). What can I do?
  7. Support Groups
    1. Does BCIL have disability support groups?
  8. Transportation
    1. I am in need of accessible transportation, where can I find it?
    2. I need transportation to my medical appointments is there any agency that provides this service?
    3. I am a person with cancer needing transportation is there help for me?

A. Housing

1. Where Should I apply for Public Housing?

You can apply directly to your local housing authorities for public housing. Many towns have their own application. You are allowed to apply to more than one housing authority. We encourage people to apply to as many towns as possible as some towns may have more subsidized housing available. See the Housing Authorities List

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2. Where Should I apply for Private Housing?

For private housing you can access a list of private apartments on the Mass Access housing registry. The Mass Access housing registry lists accessible and adaptable housing that is owned by many management companies. See Mass Access Housing Search

On the Mass access list there are contact names and numbers for each building. In order to apply to an individual building you must call for their individual applications.

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3. Does BCIL have rental assistance for people who can not pay their rent?

Unfortunately BCIL does not have financial assistance for consumers. There are a number of agencies in the community that do sometimes have rental and utility assistance.

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4. What agencies provide rental/utility assistance?

There are a variety of organizations that traditionally offer financial assistance we keep a list of organizations that in the past have provided funds. For immediate assistance you can call United Way at 211 (dialing 211 will connect you directly to the United Way) or to obtain a list please call our Information & Referral department. 617-338-6665.

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5. I am homeless but I do not want to stay in a shelter.

Unfortunately Massachusetts has a high volume of people with and without disabilities who need low cost housing. We are happy to help you apply for public and private housing options however; shelters are typically the only option for immediate housing for individuals with no income.

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6. I need to find a shelter, who can I call.

Shelter listings can be found through:

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7. Are you a residential agency or do you own housing that you can place me in?

No BCIL does not own or manage any housing options. We are not an assisted living community.

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8. I know someone that needs to live in a group home. Where can I find help?

While BCIL generally helps people find independent apartments, we are happy to help individuals search for group housing options. Please call our Information & Referral department to discuss your needs. 617-338-6665.

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9. I need physical assistance. How could I live in an independent apartment?

An individual who needs physical care may be eligible for the Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program. Please see our PCA section for more information on eligibility and how to apply.

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10. Does BCIL have any roommate services for people looking to live with other disabled individuals?

No, BCIL does not have a roommate matching services. There are services out there to for roommate matching unfortunately there is no roommate matching service for people with disabilities.

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11. I do not own a computer but I need to search for housing, where can I go?

The Metropolitan Housing Partnership operates a housing consumer education center. Please call to get available times. You can also use computers at your local public libraries for housing searches. See also Metropolitan Housing Partnership

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B. Financial Assistance

1. Does BCIL have financial assistance for rent, utilities or equipment?

BCIL does not have the funds to provide financial assistance for rent and/or utilities. We are happy to provide you with ideas of other organizations that do potentially have funds. BCIL also does not have funds for equipment but can help you to apply for title 7 funds through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Please call our Information and & Referral department to discuss your needs. 617 338-6665.

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2. What about funds for home modifications to make my home accessible?

Both MRC and Easter Seals have loan programs for home modifications. Please see their web sites for more information.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission

Easter Seals

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3. I need to make my house accessible. How do I get started?

A good resource to start with is the following website:

Solutions for Accessibility

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C. General Disability Questions

1. I am newly disabled and I have no idea of where to begin to get services. How can BCIL help me?

BCIL will be happy to assist you in finding various organizations and services to accommodate your individual needs Please call our Information and & Referral department to discuss your needs. 617-338-6665.

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D. Social Security

1. I am having a problem obtaining social security assistance can BCIL help me?

Yes, BCIL can assist individuals with applying for Social Security. Please call our Information & Referral department for more information. 617-338-6665.

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E. MassHealth

1. I was rejected by MassHealth. What can I do?

Any individual with a permanent disability is eligible for MassHealth. If you are rejected for MASSHEALTH Coverage due to income, or even if you do not know why you were rejected, you still are eligible for CommonHealth, the pay in program from MassHealth. Please call our Information & Referral department for more information 617-338-6665.

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F. Legal Services

1. Can BCIL help me with a legal issue?

BCIL does not have lawyers or paralegals on staff. For help with legal issues please contact Disability Law Center and/ or Greater Boston Legal Services.

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2. I believe that I have been a victim of disability discrimination. Who can help me?

There are a number of organizations that handle discrimination cases depending on your needs.

Please check out the following organizations through their websites:

  1. Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination 
  2. Massachusetts Office on Disability
  3. Disability Law Center
  4. Greater Boston Legal Services

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3. I am being emotionally/physically abused by someone (caretaker). What can I do?

If you are in immediate danger please call 911. To report abuse please contact Disabled Persons Protection Commission

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G. Support Groups

1. Does BCIL have disability support groups?

BCIL does not run disability support groups however we will be happy to help you look for support groups that pertain to your disability. Please call our Information & Referral Department 617-338-6665.

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H. Transportation

1. I am in need of accessible transportation, where can I find it?

The State of Massachusetts offers accessible transportation through the MBTA's The Ride. Please see the their website, The Ride

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2. I need transportation to my medical appointments is there any agency that provides this service?

In addition to accessing the MBTA's The Ride, you may be eligible for the MassHealth Medical transportation program. For more information please visit their website MassHealth Transportation Services

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3. I am a person with cancer needing transportation is there help for me?

In addition to the MASS HEALTH Transportation program you may be eligible for the Boston cancer ride program.

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Contact:

If you do not find what you need in our Frequently Asked Questions, or you require additional information, please call BCIL and ask for an Information and Referral Specialist.

Phone: 617.338.6665
Fax: 617.338.6661
TTY: 617.338.6662
Toll Free: 866.338.8085

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