Turning 18

Transition Planning 
Age of Majority

  • Apply for SSI/Mass Health. If SSI eligible, an individual will automatically be eligible for MassHealth. If not eligible for SSI, apply separately to the Division of Medical Assistance for MassHealth.
  • Help your child actively participate in his/her IEP meeting.  He/she should be part of planning their learning and life goals.
  • Apply for Section 8 Housing Vouchers.
  • Make sure emphasis on IEP is on post-school goals that will make the biggest differences in the life of your child.
  • Understand Age of Majority. At age 18, all people are presumed to be legally competent to make all life decisions.
  • Register men for Selective Service.
  • Apply for eligibility for adult services, if you have not already done so. These include the Department of Developmental Services, Department of Mental Health, Mass. Commission for the Blind, and Mass. Rehabilitation Commission. If your son or daughter is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Smith-Magenis Syndrome or Prader-Willi syndrome, they do not need have a diagnosis of an intellectual disability to receive services from DDS.
  • Apply for Adult Family Care (AFC).
  • Have your child register to vote.
  • Make sure your child has some work experience.
  • Continue to consider transition assessments to clarify student’s continued skill development needs
  • Invite a representative from a human service agency, (example: Transition Coordinator from DDS or MRC) to attend your child’s IEP meeting.
  • Network with other families who have been through the Transition process.

Transition Timeline (Arc Mass)

Bureau of Transitional Planning (BTP)

Department of Developmental Services (DDS) – DDS Transition Information Fact Sheets

Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)

Department of Mental Health (DMH)

MassOptions – Free resource that links you to services that help you or a loved one live independently

Health Insurance Tool – Exceptional Lives

Supported Decision Making,  Alternatives & Guardianship

Guardianship Tool – Exceptional Lives


Social Security

Social Security Tool – Exceptional Lives



MA Resources

MA Transition Planning Tool (Exceptional Lives)

MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Secondary Transition

Educational Advocacy:

How to get Special Education Services Tool (Exceptional Lives)

Connect with us:

To schedule a one hour consult please contact Andrea Morris, Director of Family Supports, at andrea.morris@thearcofghn.org or at 978-373-0552 ext. 211.

For Bilingual support please contact Elizabeth BeltranFamily Support Navigator at elizabeth.beltran@thearcofghn.org 978-373-0552 ext. 217.

Current Hours:
Monday-Friday from 10am to 4pm, by appointment only.
Extended hours are offered on the first and third Wednesday of the month via zoom from 5pm until 7:30pm, by appointment only.

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