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 Latest Updates on COVID-19

COVID19NewsSupporting Families
January 26, 2023

COVID-19: Important Update on MassHealth

When the COVID pandemic began in March 2020, the federal government declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE), which included "continuous Medicaid enrollment", i.e., everyone who already had Medicaid was required…
Budget & PolicyCOVID19Government AffairsLeo's LettersNewsWorkforce Initiative
January 12, 2023

Leo’s Letter: As The 193rd Session Begins, Our Advocacy Continues

The 193rd Session of the Massachusetts State Legislature (also called the “General Court”) began last week. The Arc of Massachusetts held our New Legislator Orientation on Tuesday, January 10 at…
COVID19Government AffairsLeo's LettersNews
January 6, 2023

Leo’s Letter: Important Updates from the Federal Omnibus Bill

In this week's video message, Executive Director Leo Sarkissian provides an important update regarding the $1.7 trillion federal 2023 omnibus bill, in particular the major changes associated with the ending…
COVID19Government AffairsLeo's LettersNews
December 15, 2022

Leo’s Letter: The Arc’s Policy Update – State and Federal: There’s Still Time to Act

We have a full plate of advocacy for our constituents and their essential services. Two key changes are increasing the pay of our workforce and allowing flexibilities for person-centered services!…
COVID19Leo's LettersNewsPathways to Friendship
December 8, 2022

Leo’s Letter: Advancing Inclusion, Dispelling Myths

Over the past two months, we have shared several sensory friendly events happening in different communities from Fitchburg to Cape Cod. In Boston, the Boston Pops held its annual sensory…
COVID19Government AffairsLeo's LettersNewsOperation House Call
December 1, 2022

Leo’s Letter: Bias and Its Impact on Advocacy

When we talk about bias against people with intellectual or development disabilities (IDD), what we mean is the negative attitude or judgment that individuals or groups hold. When this bias…

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