What is a 688 Referral?
In Massachusetts, students with disabilities access adult service agencies through the Chapter 688 referral process. Chapter 688 provides a two-year coordinated planning process for students whose entitlements to special education services will end when they graduate from school or turn 22 years of age.
Participating Adult Service Agencies
- Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC)
- Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDS)
- Department of Mental Health (DMH)
- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB)
- Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)
Who is Eligible for a 688 Referral?
- Individual receives Social Security Benefits (SSI or SSDI) based on his or her disability
- Individual is listed in the registry for the MA Commission for the Blind
- Individual receives Special Education Services through his or her school district
- Individual requires ongoing services because of the severity of his or her disability
- Individual is unable to work 20 hours or more per week in competitive employment
688 Application Process
Only school systems can refer students that they believe may be eligible for adult services through Chapter 688. The 2 year planning period allows enough time to determine eligibility for adult services and for an agency(ies) to include the anticipated cost of services for the student in the budget request which is submitted to the Massachusetts Legislature each year.
688 Referrals should be filed 2 years before the student graduates from high school or turns 22 years old.
If you are unsure which 688 agency to apply to, the following document includes referral guidelines with student profile descriptions for each agency:
How to Apply
- Discuss the referral process with your student’s IEP Team or Special Education Liaison
- Complete and sign the referral release form and submit to the school’s special education department
- Agency will either mail full application to the student’s home or arrange a meeting with the student at school