Frequently Asked Questions

A. Housing

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

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 MassAccess Housing Registry

On the MassAccess 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.

Does BCIL have rental assistance for people who cannot pay their rent?
BCIL does not have financial assistance for consumers.

What agencies provide rental/utility assistance?
There are a variety of organizations that may offer financial assistance. For assistance you can call 211 to speak with someone about your specific needs.

I am homeless but I do not want to stay in a shelter.
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. Shelters may be the only option for immediate housing for individuals with no income.

I need to find a shelter, who can I call?
Shelter listings can be found through:
Department of Transitional Assistance
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless
Or Safelink if you are a victim of domestic violence

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.

I know someone who 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.

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.

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 for roommate matching. Unfortunately, there is no roommate matching service just for people with disabilities.

I do not own a computer but I need to search for housing, where can I go?
The Metropolitan Boston 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 Boston Housing Partnership

B. Financial Assistance

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 can provide you with ideas of other organizations that may have funds. BCIL does not have funds for equipment but can help you to apply for assistance through the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. Please call our Information and & Referral department to discuss your needs.

What about funds for home modifications to make my home accessible?
Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, Easter Seals, and the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership have programs for home modifications. Please see their web sites for more information.

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
Easter Seals

I need to make my house accessible. How do I get started?
Good resources to start with include:

Solutions for Accessibility
Institute for Human Centered Design

C. General Disability Questions

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.

D. Social Security

I am having a problem obtaining social security assistance. Can BCIL help me?
Yes, BCIL can assist individuals with applying for Social Security.

E. MassHealth

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 because of your income you may still be eligible for CommonHealth, the pay in program from MassHealth.

F. Legal Services

Can BCIL help me with a legal issue?
BCIL staff are not attorneys but can provide you with procedural assistance and direction towards resources for your legal issues.  For legal assistance you can also contact Disability Law Center  or Greater Boston Legal Services.

I believe that I have experienced disability discrimination. Who can help me?
There are a number of organizations that handle discrimination cases depending on your needs. We can discuss with you the resources available.

Some of those resources could include:
Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination
Massachusetts Office on Disability
Disability Law Center
Greater Boston Legal Services

I am being emotionally/physically abused. What can I do?
If you are in immediate danger call 911. To report abuse or neglect by a caretaker, please contact BCIL. For all other forms of abuse, contact BCIL and we can assist you with determining the appropriate agency to file a report to.

G. Support Groups

Does BCIL have disability support groups?
BCIL does not run disability support groups, but we will help you look for support groups that meet your needs.

H. Transportation

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

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

I have cancer and I need transportation. Is there help for me?
In addition to the MassHealth Transportation program you may be eligible for the Boston Cancer Ride.