COVID-19

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to face a crisis due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) epidemic. We face this health crisis together and we are not alone. This site includes links to important resource information for basic needs, disability services, and daily life among other things.  The page includes links for our future and past webinars and updates.  Please be sure to check this page frequently for COVID-19 updates.

The Arc's Weekly COVID-19 Webinars

The Arc's Latest Updates on COVID-19

COVID-19Leo's LetterNewsTurning 22Workforce Initiative
November 18, 2021

Leo’s Letter: 30 Years On: Learning From History To Address The Current Service Crisis

I’m lucky. Even during COVID and after thirty years, I so appreciate serving at The Arc of Massachusetts, due to our significant mission, and the wonderful colleagues throughout the decades.…
COVID-19Government AffairsLeo's LetterNewsWorkforce Initiative
October 15, 2021

Leo’s Letter: Updates On Important Federal Initiatives

In this video message, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian discusses two priority federal initiatives affecting our community: President Biden's efforts to secure $400 billion in funding for Home- and Community-Based Services,…
COVID-19Government AffairsLeo's LetterNewsTurning 22Workforce Initiative
October 6, 2021

Leo’s Letter: National Disability Employment Awareness Month & Turning 22

In 1945, Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the…
COVID-19Leo's LetterNewsWorkforce Initiative
September 30, 2021

Leo’s Letter: Rebooting The Workforce Initiative

The pandemic’s impact reinforces the need for change in the delivery of disability services. Some of us were excited about the prospects of positive day services change last fall. But…
COVID-19Leo's LetterNews
September 23, 2021

Leo’s Letter: A Brother’s Eulogy, A Sister’s Love

The last 18 months have taken a toll on us.  As of September 22, there were a total of 678,502 deaths related to the COVID pandemic. But we find amid such…
COVID-19NewsWorkforce Initiative
September 22, 2021

The Arc Submits Testimony On Use Of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding In The Commonwealth

On Tuesday, September 21, The Arc’s Ellen Taverna and Maura Sullivan submitted testimony for the Hearing of the Joint Committees on Ways & Means and the House Committee on the…

Important Resources on COVID-19

Needs and Local Resources

If you are concerned about medical care or paying for health care or RX, approval for MassHealth is expedited.

In March, the Commissioner of Insurance issued an emergency measures order to all health insurance carriers and HMOs in regard to use of telehealth (telephone and video). This means that all private carriers and MassHealth will allow payment for telehealth (and co-pays have been temporarily removed for patients).  We previously shared that MassHealth now allows telehealth including for certain long-term supports services such as adult family or foster care (AFC). 

  • Food:
    • Your local service provider may be able to deliver food to you (see local resources). Family support centers through DDS have been supplying gift cards to individuals eligible at DDS. List of centers here.
    • If you need food and are unable to afford it:
    • Project Bread Food Source Hotline: Hotline counselors will refer you to food resources in your community including information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) application support. 1-800-645-8333 or TTY 1-800-377-1292 available Monday-Friday 8:00am to 7:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 2:00pm

The Arc of Massachusetts Resource Sheet on Meeting Basic Needs and Local Resources.

For information on support services resources, check the Health and Disability Services section.

Special Education Resources

Health Care & Vaccine Distribution Advocacy

Health and Disability Services

Continue to use your primary care physician (PCP) and urgent care when needed.  The State’s main site on the virus and your health is on the Dept. of Public Health (DPH) website (prevention and treatment).

MassHealth has a page on feeling symptoms: scroll down to “Members” and “If you are not feeling well.”

Personal Protective Equipment continues to be in short supply (April 27), but if a family member is positive and PCA services are involved, directions on PPE are here in English and here in Spanish.

Please reach out as you are experiencing need. We list below three main pathways to obtaining assistance:

  • Family support centers and chapters of The Arc
  • Department of Developmental Services (DDS) offices
  • MassHealth

Further below in this section we note other pages at the state agencies we encourage you to explore.

Resources and Guidance from MassHealth, DDS, & Mass Commission for the Blind

General Information and Links