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Government Related Services, Agencies and Other Financial Assistance


MassHealth as a Second Health Insurance

Even if your family has health insurance, you can apply for MassHealth as a secondary health insurance for the family member with a diagnosis of autism.

MassHealth Insurance Premium Program brochure: MassHealth provides health care benefits to certain low and medium-income people living in Massachusetts. MassHealth offers these benefits to you directly or by paying part or all of your other health insurance premiums.

MassHealth Standard/Common Health Premium Assistance Program (MSCPA): MSCPA is one of five MassHealth Premium Assistance programs. MSCPA provides financial assistance to families who have a family member with MassHealth Standard or MassHealth CommonHealth and who pay other health insurance premiums. (800) 862-4840

For more information, or to ask any question about health insurance and coverage for youth with an ASD diagnosis, please contact the Insurance Resource Center for Autism and Behavioral Health at The Insurance Resource Center – Resources for consumers, providers, clinicians, employers, and educators on issues related to medical insurance for autism treatment – or call 774-455-4056. 

Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Program: A Program of MassHealth

The PCA Program is a MassHealth program that can help families with a child with a permanent or chronic disability by providing funds to hire personal care attendants (PCAs).

Families may apply for the PCA Program if:

  • A child/youth/adult is eligible for MassHealth Standard or CommonHealth
  • The pediatrician has given approval for PCA services
  • The person has a chronic or permanent disability that prevents them from performing their own personal care
  • There is a need for physical (hands-on) assistance with at least two of seven activities of daily living (ADLs). These are:
    • mobility
    • bathing/grooming
    • dressing/undressing
    • passive range-of-motion exercises
    • taking medications
    • eating
    • toileting

Before a family can begin to use PCA services, they must contact a personal care management (PCM) agency who will need to obtain an authorization from MassHealth for the child/youth. Here is a link to a list of personal care management agencies.

For more information about PCAs, please see here.

Department of Developmental Services (DDS)

The Department of Developmental Services provides supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, to enhance opportunities to become fully engaged members of their community. DDS creates, in partnership with others, innovative and genuine opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate fully and meaningfully in, and contribute to, their communities as valued members. Information and an application is available at:

DDS Autism Support Centers

Autism Support Centers are able to assist families in submitting an application for eligibility and provide assistance and support throughout the intake process, as requested by families. This includes helping families understand how to complete the necessary steps to apply for DDS eligibility (e.g., whom to call, paperwork). Families are able to access some of the general services of the Family Support and Autism Support Centers prior to their child or adult family member being found eligible for DDS services, such as information, referral and trainings.

Support Centers across the state provide a local presence and act as a hub for offering a wide range of general family support services and activities to families of children and adults who are eligible for DDS services. Services for children include family support and a variety of programs to address specialized needs that supplement educational services. Contact the Autism Support Center closest to you.

Western Massachusetts

Pathlight: Autism Connections
220 Brookdale Dr., Springfield MA 01104

Central Massachusetts

HMEA: Autism Resource Central
712 Planation St., Worcester, MA 01605

Metro West of Boston

Autism Alliance of MetroWest (AAMW)
1881 Worcester Rd., #100A Framingham, MA 01701

Southeastern Massachusetts

Community Autism Resources (CAR)
33 James Reynolds Rd., Unit C, Swansea, MA 02777
800-588-9239; 508-379-0371

120 Main St., 2nd Floor, Bridgewater, MA 02324

Northeastern Massachusetts

Northeast ARC (NEARC) The Autism Support Center
100 Independence Way – Suite D3, Danvers, MA 01923

Norfolk County-Southwest Massachusetts

LifeWorks: The Family Autism Center
789 Clapboardtree St., Westwood, MA 02090

Greater Boston

1208A VFW Parkway – Suite 201
West Roxbury, MA 02132

DDS Intensive Flexible Family Supports – HMEA

Intensive Flexible Family Supports (IFFS) programs help families who are caring for a child in their home and are experiencing serious challenges as a result of the child’s disability. These challenges are not only causing severe stress for the family, but also leave the child at risk of needing an out-of-home placement. IFFS provide case management services for families and flexible funding to help families purchase other items or services that the child may need. The goals of IFFS are to ease the level of stress families are experiencing and to help them keep their child in the home.

Referrals are made by the local Department of Developmental Services (DDS) office for the Central MA region, which consists of the Worcester, North Central and South Valley regions.

For more information, please see: Intensive Flexible Family Supports

DDS Autism Waiver Services Program

The Autism Division of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) administers the Children’s Autism Waiver Program (AWP) which provides one-to-one interventions to help children with autism who exhibit severe behavioral, social and communication challenges through a service called Expanded Habilitation, Education (intensive in-home services and supports). This service occurs in the child’s home or other natural settings under the supervision of trained clinical staff and is available for a total of three years. AWP also provides related support services such as community integration activities and respite. At the conclusion of the three years of intensive services, a child may access supplemental services that meet the child’s needs and help with the transition out of the intensive AWP until the child’s 10th birthday.

Planned Facility Based Respite Program for Children

This program requires a referral from the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS) and offers planned, out-of-home respite services for children in the Central/West Region of the state. This program provides short-term temporary relief for families, and include overnight, weekend, and/or vacation stays. Children/youth are provided with recreational, social, cultural and/or educational activities during their stay.

Respite Supports: Professional Respite Care in MA and RI, private pay.

Seven Hills Foundation provides short-term care for children and adults with a disability in a child’s home or outside of the home. Respite care can be hourly and/or include an overnight stay.  

Department of Mental Health (DMH)

DMH is a state agency which provides additional support to people of all ages who are living             with significant mental health symptoms. There is an application and evaluation process that determines if there is a need for DMH services. In general, individuals with a diagnosis of ASD or intellectual disability need to apply for DDS services; at times, it might later be determined that an application to DMH is also needed.

Children's Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI)

CBHI partners with child and family serving state agencies, providers, and payers to ensure that services meet the individual needs of the child and family. Agencies and availability can be found here. If there isn’t an agency listed with openings, please call the referral line to be put on a wait list.

The types of services available are as follows:

Intensive Care Coordination (ICC): The ICC Coordinates the services when there are multiple providers involved. The Wraparound care planning process is used to coordinate multiple supports for youth and families.

Family Support and Training (FS&T): The FS&T person supports the caregiver(s) in managing the child’s behavioral needs. The Family Partner understands the family’s struggles from a personal perspective.

In-Home Therapy (IHT): The IHT provides short-term family therapy to assist the family in stabilizing children in their homes during times of crisis.

Therapeutic Mentoring (TM): The TM offers one-on-one support to the child for daily living, social and communication needs. TM services are provided in the home and community.


If a child meets criteria, MassHealth may pay for absorbent products (diapers, briefs) for children who have incontinence, if it is deemed to be medically necessary and prescribed by a physician. For more information, please see MassHealth Guidelines for Medical Necessity Determination for Absorbent Products.

Grants (Non-Government)

Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism: The goal of the Flutie Foundation is to help families affected by autism live life to the fullest. They help people with autism get access to care, lead more active lifestyles and grow toward adult independence. Caregivers can apply for a grant: or call 508-270-8855.

United Healthcare Children’s Foundation: If they meet eligibility requirements, a caregiver can apply for funding for a need for the child: United Healthcare Children's Foundation (UHCCF). The application is only available online.