Help

FUEL AID PROGRAMS

Valley Opportunity Council 413.552.1548 www.valleyopp.com
Assists with eating bills for households in Hampden County

Springfield Partners for Community Action 413.263.6500 www.springfieldpartnersinc.com
Locally administers the federally funded WAP weatherization assistance program.

Distrigas/Citizens Energy 866.427.9918 www.citizensenergy.com
Provides up to $150 per heating season to natural gas customers who have exhausted their fuel assistance.

Council of Churches of Greater Springfield 413.733.2149 www.councilofchurchesgs.org
Financial support to purchase heating fuel during winter months. Priority given to elderly, first-time callers, and families with young children.

Salvation Army Good Neighbor Energy Fund 800.262.1320 www.magoodneighbor.org
Provides up to $275 per heating season to needy families who don’t qualify for fuel assistance.

Ener-G-save 866.634.3021 www.ener-g-save.org
Provides $50 award to Western Mass homeowners who insulate their attics.

First Call For Help, Franklin County (FCAC): (413) 774-2318 x109
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

Help Line (Hampden County, Granby, S. Hadley): (413) 737-2712
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

HOUSING ASSISTANCE

First Call For Help, Franklin County (FCAC): (413) 774-2318 x109
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

Help Line (Hampden County, Granby, S. Hadley): (413) 737-2712
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

FINANCIAL AID

Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC) http://www.massresources.org/tafdc.html
TAFDC provides time-limited cash benefits to certain families with dependent children and pregnant women in the last 120 days of pregnancy.

FOOD ASSISTANCE

Berkshire County – http://www.foodbankwma.org/wp-content/uploads/Emergency-Food-Network-flyer-Berkshire-County1.pdf

Hampden County – http://www.foodbankwma.org/wp-content/uploads/Emergency-Food-Network-flyer-Hampden-County-.pdf

Hampshire County – http://www.foodbankwma.org/wp-content/uploads/Emergency-Food-Network-flyer-Hampshire-County1.pdf

Franklin County – http://www.foodbankwma.org/wp-content/uploads/Emergency-Food-Network-flyer-Franklin-County1.pdf

The Food Bank’s Brown Bag: Food for Elders program supplies a free monthly bag of groceries, for people ages 55 and older who meet income guidelines, in 51 western Massachusetts towns. To sign up for the program, call us at 413-247-9738.

Food stamps/SNAP – http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/

First Call For Help, Franklin County (FCAC): (413) 774-2318 x109
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

Help Line (Hampden County, Granby, S. Hadley): (413) 737-2712
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) – http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/
provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk.

DISABILITIES

Americans with Disabilities Act http://www.ada.gov/

Americans with Disabilities Act: (800) 514-0301; TDD (800) 514-0383
direct questions to: US Dept. of Justice www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1/html
This law requires employers to offer reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. 

The Center for Public Representation: (413) 586-6024
A nonprofit organization that provides legal representation in cases concerning disability claims, including applications for Social Security Disability Insurance.

Social Security Disability Insurance – http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10029.html
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal insurance program that protects workers who become totally disabled and cannot work for a year or more.

DISCRIMINATION

Housing Discrimination Project: (413) 539-9796 or (800) 675-7309
Call the project if you think a landlord has discriminated against you.  It’s a private, nonprofit fair housing organization that provides education, counseling and free legal services to anyone who has been illegally denied housing. 

MA Attorney General’s Fair Labor and Business Practices Division: (413) 784-1128
http://www.ago.state.ma.us/

MA Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD): (413) 739-2145 http://www.mass.gov/mcad/index.html
You have 300 days from the date of the most recent incident of discrimination you believe you experienced to file a claim. 

MENTAL HEALTH

MA Department of Mental Health (DMH): (413) 587-6200 Western MA area office.

A Department of Developmental Services (DDS) (formerly Department of Mental Retardation-DMR: (413) 586-4948

RAPE AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION

MA Department of Social Services (DSS): (413) 452-3350
Mandated Reporters who are staff members of medical or other public or private institutions, schools or facilities, must either notify the Department directly or notify the person in charge of the institution, school or facility, or his/her designee, who then becomes responsible for filing the report. Should the person in charge/designee advise against filing, the staff member retains the right to contact DSS directly. Under the law, mandated reporters are protected from liability in any civil or criminal action, and from any discriminatory or retaliatory actions by an employer.

MA Office for Child Care Services (OCCS): (413) 788-8401 

Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Program – http://gmdvp.org/

Everywomen’s Center – http://www.umass.edu/ewc/programs/ca/

WORKERS SAFETY & RIGHTS

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):1-800-321-6742 http://www.osha.gov/
you can also file a complaint at http://www.osha.gov/pls/osha7/eComplaintForm.html

Workers’ Comp Hub: Provides Basic information for injured/ill workers in all 50 states that might help them navigate the complex comp system. Resources and advocacy tools that review the problems of the workers’ comp system, propose progressive reforms and present pathways for pro-worker advocacy and action. http://workerscomphub.org/

Workers’ Compensation: (413) 784-1133 http://www.state.ma.us/dia

Make sure you report any on the job injuries to your supervisor immediately, before leaving the premises, and preferably in writing.  Keep good records.  You are not required to sign a waiver allowing your employer to access your entire medical history.  When unable to earn full wages for 5 or more days due to an injury on the job, your employer has 7 days, not including Sundays and legal holidays, to report the injury to its insurance company & to the DIA on an Employer’s First Report of Injury/Fatality Form. A claim must be filed with the insurer within four years of the date an employee becomes aware of the causal connection between their disability and their employment.

Alliance for Injured Workers: (413) 731-0760
An advocacy and support group for workers hurt on the job.

Family Medical Leave Act: (617) 624-6700
Direct questions to: Wage and Hour Bureau, US Dept. of Labor

HEALTH CARE

Pioneer Valley Free health Services: (413) 525-3866
For the uninsured and underinsured. 

Springfield Technical Community College Dental Clinic: (413) 781-7822
The College’s dental hygiene school provided teeth cleaning for $25.

First Call For Help, Franklin County (FCAC): (413) 774-2318 x109
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

Help Line (Hampden County, Granby, S. Hadley): (413) 737-2712
For information about food assistance, heating oil, housing, health care, and much more.

Applying for Health Insurance Benefits through the Medical Security Plan
After you file your claim for unemployment insurance benefits, you will automatically receive an application packet directly from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts. You should complete and return the application to Blue Cross/Blue Shield as soon as possible. A delay in applying may delay the date your coverage goes into effect.

Before you submit your application, make sure that you have provided all the information requested. This includes:

·     your four most recent pay stubs (and your spouse’s four most recent pay stubs, if applicable); and

·     a copy of your DUA Benefit Determination form, if you are applying for a hardship waiver.

This will help you to avoid delays in processing. Blue Cross/Blue Shield will notify you of your eligibility in writing within 10 business days of receiving your completed application. If you have filed your unemployment insurance claim and have not received a Medical Security Plan application within two weeks, contact the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medical Security Plan customer service office at 1-800-914-4455 to have an application mailed to you.

Health Insurance for dependent children:  (413) 886-5070
Call to find out about low-cost and free health care coverage in MA.

UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment (to file a claim): 1-877-626-6800
Those who have lost their jobs should call & file right away to avoid losing benefits.  After you file your claim for unemployment insurance benefits, you will automatically receive an application packet directly from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts. You should complete and return the application as soon as possible. If you have not received a Medical Security Plan application within two weeks, call 1-800-914-4455

Unemployment insurance (MA): http://www.mass.gov/lwd/unemployment-insur/

VETERAN’S SERVICES

Veterans Administration: (413) 785-0301; (800) 827-1000

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – http://www.va.gov/landing2_vetsrv.htm

LEGAL SERVICES

Western Massachusetts Legal Services: Springfield (413) 781-7814; Holyoke (413) 533-2660; Northampton (413) 584-4034
This agency provides legal assistance to low-income people in civil cases, such as denial or loss of benefits, evictions and family law.  The attorneys are members of UAW Local 2320.

MassLegal Services –  http://www.masslegalservices.org/showprogramoffices/1485

HIV/AIDS SERVICES

A Positive Place –  http://www.cooley-dickinson.org/Main/AIDSCAREHampshireCounty.aspx
provider of comprehensive, confidential case management and health-related support services, filling life saving needs for people living with HIV/AIDS in the county.  Anyone living with HIV or AIDS is eligible for services regardless of level of need, health status, or ability to pay.  Our services are free of charge to people living with HIV.

Tapestry Health – http://www.tapestryhealth.org/index.php/services/hivaids/counseling-and-testing

YOUTH PROGRAMS

DIAL/SELF – http://www.dialself.org/americorps/
YouthServe AmeriCorps Members mentor at-risk youth through a variety of youth-serving agencies in Western Massachusetts.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Massachusetts Substance Abuse – Helpline 800-327-5050 http://helpline-online.com/

SUICIDE PREVENTION

Samaritans Statewide – Hotline: 1-877-870-HOPE (4673) http://samaritanshope.org/

National Suicide Prevention – Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); Press # 1 if you are a Veteran
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

The Trevor Helpline: 866-4-U-TREVOR (488-7386) http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ Specifically for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender youth and young adults.

OTHER HELPFUL LINKS

Social Security Administration: www.ssa.gov
Springfield (413) 785-0100; Holyoke (413) 536-3649; (800) 772-1213

211 – http://www.211.org/
2-1-1 provides free and confidential information and referral. Call 2-1-1 for help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more.   Learn more about your local 2-1-1 by looking it up here.

Mass Resources – http://massresources.org/
An online resource for Massachusetts residents in need of basic services.