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Assistance programs in Massachusetts.

Find grants, financial aid and government assistance in all cities and counties in Massachusetts listed below, including Boston and Worcester. There are resources that help with paying bills, rent, housing, security deposits, medical and other costs. In addition to the state and local programs below, get financial assistance from charities or free stuff, including food, clothes, or gasoline vouchers.

Health Safety Net Fund (Free Care)
The Health Safety Net is a government health care assistance program. It will provide help for people who are not eligible for health insurance or people who cannot afford their medical bills and insurance. Massachusetts residents who qualify for the Safety Net can get medically necessary health services at hospitals as well as community health centers in Massachusetts either at no charge or at a reduced charge. 508-860-7700

MassHealth is a public health insurance program for residents of Massachusetts. 1-888-665-9993

Commonwealth Care
Commonwealth Care is a Massachusetts state-government funded health insurance program that covers uninsured low and moderate-income as well as uninsured Massachusetts residents who do not qualify for MassHealth aid above. 1-877-623-6765

Help with Mortgage and Foreclosure Prevention
Massachusetts also has a mortgage assistance program that will help residents with refinancing a mortgage, and it also assists with preventing foreclosures. Resources are offered across the state. Continue with Massachusetts mortgage assistance.

Numerous non-profit agencies that are HUD certified may be able to provide homeowners with free or low cost solutions to paying their mortgage or avoiding a foreclosure. Find a list. Learn more on Massachusetts free HUD counseling agencies.

Provides free healthcare and it will pay the medical bills for lower income MA residents with chronic illnesses or medical conditions. Find additional ways to get help with medical bills and debts. 1-800-475-8455. Learn more on getting assistance with medical bills.




Prescription Advantage
The Prescription Advantage program is a state-sponsored prescription drug insurance plan for both Massachusetts disabled residents and seniors who meet eligibility requirements. 1-800-243-4636

Massachusetts Rental Voucher Program
A rental assistance program available in Massachusetts that offers tenant-based vouchers, which are known as “Mobile”. These vouchers can be used to help pay rent for any housing unit that meets the standards of the state sanitary code. (617) 573-1150

Home Buying in Massachusetts
The cost of housing is very high. The government and non-profits may be able to help low to moderate income families with loans. A number of services are offered. Find details on getting free loans.

Medical Security Program
An assistance program that helps middle-and lower-income unemployed state residents pay their health insurance premiums, medical costs and bills. This state program will pay up to 80 percent of a laid-off worker's monthly health insurance premium for about a year. 1-800-908-8801. There are even free prescription drug discount cards.

SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The federal and state government SNAP program will help low-income Massachusetts households pay for food so that they can have a healthy diet and still have money left over to pay other bills. 1-866-950-FOOD

Disability Programs
Additional resources are offered for residents with a disability. They include assistive technology, job training, legal aid, and in-home care. Other cash assistance and benefits may be available in Massachusetts for paying bills such as heating costs or housing expenses. Learn more on disability help in Massachusetts.





DTA Child Care Services
DTA child care is low cost or free child care for current and former TAFDC families. The DTA child care program is for families who are looking for a job, working, in an approved education or job training program, or disabled. 1-800-249-2007

Crisis Assistance Funds
One of the leading non-profit charities, the Salvation Army, can help Massachusetts families. The agency offers limited amounts of emergency cash assistance, grants, case management, and other aid. Read more on Salvation Army Massachusetts.

Housing and Rent Vouchers
Working with the federal government HUD organization, the state of Massachusetts can provide very low income families, the elderly, and disabled with a rent subsidized apartment. More on Massachusetts housing choice voucher section 8.

Free Legal Aid
Qualified families and individuals in Massachusetts can receive free legal advice and assistance from non-profit law firms across the state. Lawyers will offer their services to people in need of help. Click here to read more on free lawyers in Massachusetts.

Financial Counseling, Budgeting, and Debt Reduction
Families in Massachusetts who are struggling to pay their bills and debts may qualify for free or low cost debt management and credit counseling. Non-profits operate across the state and provide this resource. More on Massachusetts free credit counseling.

Income-eligible Child Care
Income-eligible child care vouchers and financial aid is low price, government subsidized child care resource for low-income non-TAFDC families who are looking for work, currently working, disabled, or in an education or job training program. The amount a family needs to pay for child care will depends on their family size and income, and the government will pay a portion as well. More Massachusetts free child care programs.

Community Partnerships for Children
The Community Partnerships for Children will assist Massachusetts families with preschool programs for their children. They can can refer families to childcare programs that may have either scholarship money or offer a sliding scale, and they can also place families on the Department of Early Education and Care Wait List for vouchers. 617-868-2900

RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition)
The RAFT programs helps families who are behind on their rent, mortgage payments, heating, or utility bills. RAFT will also assist families who have to move but do not have enough money to pay some of the costs involved, such as utility startup costs, a security deposit, or first/last month’s rent. Families can get up to $3000 in financial aid from the government to apply towards rent or expenses. Call 1-800-224-5124, or read more on rental assistance Massachusetts RAFT.

Prescription Advantage
This medical assistance program will help pay for prescription drugs for the disabled and the elderly. There are some low cost premiums, deductibles and also co-payments there are based on household income. 800-243-4636





Cash Assistance and Public Aid
Several Massachusetts organizations provide social services and emergency assistance. Programs can help people find a job, get help with energy bills and medical care, and other aid. Read more public assistance in Massachusetts.

Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC)
EAEDC will provide cash grants and other benefits to low-income elders, children, and disabled in Massachusetts. EAEDC aid is for individuals and families who do not qualify for other government run cash assistance programs. 617-573-1600

Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)
TAFDC is a government assistance program that gives benefits and cash assistance to low-income families with dependent children.

Energy and Gas Company Programs
Most of the utility companies that operate in Massachusetts offer low income assistance programs, in particular for paying heating bills. Click here for more information on emergency grants and weatherization programs in Massachusetts that are available directly from utility and gas companies. Continue with energy bill help in Massachusetts.

Government Grants, Employment Services, and Case Management
Non-profit community action agencies can help the underemployed, working poor, seniors, and unemployed. Resources offered include job training, grants for paying bills in an emergency, Head Start, child care, and energy assistance, among others. More on community action Massachusetts.

One-Stop Career Centers are another place to call for help in finding a job, registering for training sessions in Massachusetts, and clients can receive ongoing employment assistance services. Read Massachusetts job training programs.

Eviction Prevention and Homeless Programs
Emergency rental assistance as well as rehousing is offered from government programs such as ESG or Continuum of Care. Charity and government resources include transitional housing, funds to pay security deposits, and free legal aid to those facing eviction. Continue with eviction help in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Senior Programs
Elderly and residents over 55 years of age can receive help and advice from the Agency on Aging. Resources available include information on health insurance, free food, home delivered meals, job training, and much more. Learn more on Massachusetts Agency Aging.

Health Care Centers and Clinics
While Massachusetts does have a health care law, the low income have other options for free or low cost medical or dental assistance. Clinics can help those in need. Read more on Massachusetts free community clinics.

Find how to get help from dental clinics. Oral care, checks ups, and other forms of assistance are provided by dental care centers. Click here free dental clinics in Massachusetts.

Residents who lack health insurance can receive assistance from resources targeted at them. These programs can also complement any state of Massachusetts mandated health coverage. Receive medications, check ups, cancer screenings, and family medical care. More on uninsured health care in Massachusetts.







Free Food Bank and Distribution Centers
Non-profit organizations located throughout the region can provide free or low cost food, groceries, and other support to people facing a hardship. Get more information on free food pantries in Massachusetts.

Assistance From Massachusetts Counties and Cities

Barnstable County

Berkshire County (Pittsfield)

Bristol County (Taunton)

Dukes County (Edgartown)

Essex County (Salem and Lawrence)

Franklin County (Greenfield)

Hampden County (Springfield)

Hampshire County (Northampton)

Middlesex County (Cambridge)


Norfolk County (Dedham)

Plymouth County (Plymouth and Brockton)

Suffolk County (Boston)

Worcester County

Massachusetts Heating and Utility Bill Assistance

Citizens Energy Oil Heat Program
In partnership with CITGO, Citizens Energy works closely with thousands of  local fuel assistance agencies and oil heat dealers in 17 states to provide deliveries of home heating oil to those who need help. This year, this heating assistance program provided qualified families a one-time delivery of 100 gallons of home heating oil.

Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund
This organization will provide energy assistance to Massachusetts residents who are in a temporary crisis and who may be struggling to pay their heating or utility bills and do not qualify for federal or state energy funds. More on the Good Neighbor Energy Fund.





Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
This will help lower income families pay their heating bills. The government aid program is for both renters and homeowners. Most households will also qualify for utility discounts, weatherization, and emergency furnace repairs.

Utility Arrearage Programs
This program will aid families with paying overdue utility bills. Utility arrearage programs will help both households prevent utility shutoffs and also restore utility service that has already been shut off.

Utility Discounts
Massachusetts electric, gas, and telephone companies will offer reduced rates to lower income customers who receive public assistance benefits and who also meet income limits. Qualified customers will receive a 20% to 40% discount on their electric and gas rates, and they will also receive a discount on basic local telephone service and installation. Find information on phone discounts in Massachusetts.

Several government and charitable assistance programs exist that help Massachusetts residents with paying their energy bills. These programs assist with  energy efficiency services, fuel assistance, and they will also help families save on their utility bills. Several of Massachusett’s utility companies have partnered together, with the Low-Income Energy Affordability Network (LEAN) and also the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) to offer assistance and aid programs to eligible households. This program is known as Energy Bucks.

  • Discount rates on energy bills: Families can receive discounted rates on utility and heating bills that will reduce what you need to pay for the services that you use.
  • Fuel assistance: Subsidies and aid is provided to help lower the price you pay for utility bills and heating fuel.
  • Energy efficiency services: Energy saving advice and weatherization services are offered that will help you with conserving energy.

Utility Shutoff Protection
Massachusetts laws will prevent utility and gas companies from shutting off service to households that are in special situations. These protected households include low-income families with infants, senior households, and also people with serious illnesses who can’t afford to pay their heating or utility bills. Also, importantly, during the winter months, utility companies can’t turn off heating related utilities for any households with a financial hardship.

An energy savings program for Massachusetts renters and homeowners and renters. MassSAVE will offer energy saving tips and information about  energy-saving products, free home energy assessments, and rebates, loans, and other incentives for energy-saving home improvements.

By Jon McNamara

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