People with disabilities are more vulnerable than others to poverty and exclusion from key services, such as health and education. Consequently, they particularly need social protection, yet may have difficulties accessing these programmes. This study aims to assess the need for, and inclusion in, social protection programmes among people with disabilities compared to those without, in three districts in Tanzania. Using a mixed methods approach, our study finds that although the need for social protection programmes was higher among people with disabilities compared to the general population, this was not matched by higher enrolment. People with disabilities were aware of social protection programmes in their area but were not targeted specifically, and benefit packages offered by the programmes were not adapted to their needs. Modifying mainstream social protection schemes to be inclusive of people with disabilities may therefore be an important step towards addressing poverty alleviation goals, including those set out in the recently adopted sustainable development goals (Goal 1, target 3).