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Advocacy for Medical Needs

Helpful Guides

For more on appealing denials by health plan type, see the Medically Necessary AT funding guide.


Disability Law Center - Massachusetts

The DLC provides advocacy, information, or referral for requests for disability related advocacy.

In the Boston area call:
Phone: (617) 723-8455/(800) 872-9992
TTY: (617) 227-9464/(800) 381-0577

In western Massachusetts:
Phone: (413) 584-6337 / (800) 222-5619
TTY: (413) 582-6919

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation (MLAC)

MLAC provides legal services to low-income people (up to 125% of the federal poverty level) throughout Massachusetts. Programs include the Medicare Advocacy Project (MAP) for low-income people improperly denied Medicare coverage, and the Disability Benefits Project (DBP) for low-income people with disabilities who have been improperly denied federal SSI or SSDI benefits. Additional service areas include General Support (family law, housing, income maintenance, health care access, consumer problems), and the Battered Women's Legal Assistance Project.

For more information:
11 Beacon St., Suite 820 (Map)
Boston, MA, 02108 US
Voice: (617) 367-8544
Fax: (617) 367-8815
Mass Legal Help website

Legal aid programs are also available by region:

Eastern Massachusetts

  • Greater Boston Legal Services (MLAC) (Map)
    197 Friend Street
    Boston, MA, 02114 US
    Voice: (617) 371-1234/(800) 323-3205
    Fax: (617) 371-1222
    TTY: (617) 371-1228
  • Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau (Map)
    24 Crescent Street, Suite 202
    Waltham, MA, 02453-4088 US
    Voice: (781) 893-4793
    Fax: (781) 893-4799
  • Community Legal Services & Counseling Center (Map)
    One West Street
    Cambridge, MA, 02139 US
    Voice: (617) 661-1010
    Fax: (617) 661-3289
  • South Middlesex Legal Services (Map)
    54 Waverly Street
    Framingham, MA, 01702 US
    Voice: (508) 620-1830
    Fax: (508) 620-2323
  • Volunteer Lawyers Project (LSC) (Map)
    29 Temple Place, Suite 300
    Boston, MA, 02111 US
    Voice: (617) 423-0648
    Fax: (617) 423-0061

Central and Western Region:

  • Legal Assistance Corporation Of Central Massachusetts (MLAC) (Map)
    405 Main Street, 4th Floor
    Worcester, MA, 01608 US
    Voice: (508) 752-3722
    Fax: (508) 752-5918
  • Western Massachusetts Legal Services (MLAC) (Map)
    127 State Street, 4th Floor
    Springfield, MA, 01103-1944 US
    Voice: (413) 781-7814
    Fax: (413) 746-3221
  • Massachusetts Justice Project (LSC) (Map)
    57 Suffolk Street, Suite 401
    Holyoke, MA, 01040 US
    Voice: (413) 533-2660/(800) 639-1209
    Fax: (413) 535-1774
    TTY: (413) 533-2660

Northeast Region:

  • Neighborhood Legal Services (MLAC) (Map)
    37 Friend Street
    Lynn, MA, 01902 US
    Voice: (781) 599-7730
    Fax: (781) 595-2022
  • Childrens Law Center Of Massachusetts (Map)
    P.O. Box 710
    Lynn, MA, 01903 US
    Voice: (781) 581-1977
    Fax: (781) 598-9364
  • Merrimack Valley-North Shore Legal Services (LSC) (Map)
    35 John Street, Suite 302
    Lowell, MA, 01852 US
    Voice: (978) 458-1465
    Fax: (978) 458-3481

Southeast Region:

  • South Coastal Counties Legal Services (MLAC)
    P.O. Box 2507
    Fall River, MA, 02722-2507 US
    Voice: (508) 676-5022
    Fax: (508) 676-8657
  • New Center For Legal Advocacy (LSC) (Map)
    257 Union Street
    New Bedford, MA, 02740 US
    Voice: (800) 244-9023

Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee

MHLAC provides advocacy and information for people with private or public insurance coverage who need help with their mental health services. MHLAC provides legal advice to people who can't get mental health services through their managed care insurer, can't get their insurance company to pay for mental health services that they've received, have had their mental health services cut off too soon, or aren't satisfied with the quality of the Mental Health services they've received. Call the MHLAC intake line, 617-338-2345 x20, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:30 to 1:00 p.m.

399 Washington Street, 4th floor
Boston, MA, 02108
Voice: (617) 338-2345 x20 (Mon, Wed, Fri from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Office of Patient Protection (OPP) - Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH)

The Office of Patient Protection (OPP) at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health houses a "managed care ombudsman" to help answer questions for managed care consumers, carriers, or insurers. The OPP can help consumers appeal HMO (Health Maintenance Organization) decisions by having those decisions reviewed by independent health care consultants through an "external review."

The OPP was created when Massachusetts passed Chapter 141 of the Acts of 2000, one of the toughest HMO laws in the country. Anyone who receives health insurance coverage from a Massachusetts carrier, insurer or HMO is entitled to protections with regards to internal grievances, medical necessity guidelines, continuity of care and independent external reviews. The law does not apply to self-funded employer health plans, Medicare, Medicaid or federal employee plans.

Consumers as well as carriers and insurers who have questions about the laws, regulations and/or consumer rights can call the OPP at 1-800-436-7757.

Office of Patient Protection website.