Public Benefits

The following public benefit programs help elders financially by providing monetary benefits 
or by paying for medical services, prescriptions, home heating fuel, or other basic needs.


MassHealth

What is it?
A state program that pays for hospital care, doctors’ visits, prescription medications

hearing aids, and limited eyeglasses and dental care.

Who’s eligible?
Massachusetts residents who meet income and asset guidelines.  For more information,

visit the MassHealth website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/masshealth/.  


Is there a cost?
No.


How do I apply?

Call the MassHealth Enrollment Center in Taunton at (800) 242-1340 to request an application.
You may also request an application by contacting Bristol’s Information and Referral unit
at (508) 675-2101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

What if I need help completing the form?
Contact Bristol’s Information and Referral unit at (508) 675-2101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

to arrange a time to come to the office or to have a staff person help you in your home.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

What is it?
A federal program that provides monthly supplemental income.  SSI recipients are

automatically eligible for MassHealth benefits.  For more information, visit the MassHealth
website at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/masshealth/.


Who’s eligible?
Individuals aged 65 and older or under 65 and blind or disabled who meet income

and asset guidelines.  For more information about SSA guidelines, visit the Social Security
website at http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/11000.html.

Is there a cost?
No.


How do I apply?
Call Social Security at (800) 772-1213 to make an appointment.  You may also call

your local Social Security office in Attleboro at (508) 226-2710, in Fall River at (508) 676-9382
or in Taunton at (508) 823-5117.  If you are homebound, you may apply by telephone
or you may request a home visit.


MassHealth Buy-In - Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

What is it?
A state program that pays your Medicare premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.

It does not pay for prescription medications.

Who’s eligible?
Medicare beneficiaries of any age who meet income and asset guidelines.  To visit the

MassHealth website with additional information about QMB, visit http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/masshealth/.


Is there a cost?

No.

How do I apply?
Call the MassHealth Enrollment Center in Taunton at (800) 242-1340 to request an

application.  You may also request an application by calling Bristol’s Information and
Referral unit at (508) 675-2101.

What if I need help completing the form?
Contact Bristol’s Information and Referral unit at (508) 675-2101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

to arrange a time to come to the office or to have a staff person help you in your home.


MassHealth Buy-In - Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) and
Qualifying Individual-1 (QI-1)

What are they?
Both SLMB and QI-1 are state programs that pay your Medicare B monthly premiums.

If your Part B premium is deducted from your social security check, your check
will be adjusted so that your premium is no longer deducted. 

Who’s eligible?
Medicare beneficiaries of any age who meet income and asset guidelines.

To visit the MassHealth website with additional information about SLMB and QI-1, visit http://www.mass.gov/Eeohhs2/docs/dhcfp/pdf/access.pdf.

Is there a cost?
No.


How do I apply?
Call the MassHealth Enrollment Center in Taunton at (800) 242-1340 to request

an application.  You may also request an application by contacting Bristol’s Information
and Referral unit at (508) 675-2101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

What if I need help completing the form?
 Contact Bristol’s Information and Referral

unit at (508) 675-2101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   to arrange a time to come to the
office or to have a staff person help you in your home.


Food Stamp Program

What is it?
A monthly allotment for the purchase of food.  This state benefit is accessed

with an "electronic benefits transfer" (EBT) card at designated stores and supermarkets.

Who’s eligible?
Individuals and families who are U.S. citizens or legal residents and who meet

household income and asset guidelines.  For additional information about the
Food Stamp Program, visit http://www.gettingfoodstamps.org.

Is there a cost?
No.


How do I apply?
Call the MassHealth Enrollment Center in Taunton at (800) 242-1340 or the

Project Bread Food Source hotline at (800) 645-8333 to request an application.
You may also request an application by contacting Bristol’s Information and
Referral unit at (508) 675-2101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

What if I need help completing the form?
Contact Bristol’s Information and Referral unit at (508) 675-2101 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

to arrange a time to come into the office or to have a staff person help you in your home.


Fuel Assistance

What is it?
A state program that helps homeowners and renters with the cost of

heating their homes during the winter season.

Who’s eligible?
Individuals and families who meet household income guidelines.

For additional information about Fuel Assistance, visit http://www.mass.gov/dhcd/componenets/cs/1PrgApps/LIHEAP/default.HTM.

Is there a cost?

No.

How do I apply?
Call Self Help in Attleboro at (508) 222-4192, Citizens for Citizens in Fall River

at (508) 679-0041, or in Taunton at (800) 823-6346 to make an appointment.
You may also contact Bristol’s Information and Referral unit at (508) 675-2101
or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a time to come into the office or to have a
staff person help you in your home.