State Veterans Benefits
- Chapter 115 Benefits: The Commonwealth is the only state in the Union that has made generous provisions by state law by providing to veterans in need financial assistance with food, housing, clothing, employment, and medical and burial assistance. Contact your local city or town Director of Veterans’ Service/Veterans’ Service Officer.
- Bonuses: Currently, the Persian Gulf War Bonus is available to certain veterans who served during the period 08/02/90 and 04/11/91, also the Welcome Home Bonus for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans became effective 9/11/2001 to present.
- Property Tax: There are a number of exemptions available to certain disabled veterans or their survivors. Contact your local Veterans’ Service Officer or city/town assessor.
- Sales & Excise Tax: Certain disabled veterans are eligible for a motor vehicle sales & excise tax exemptions. Contact the Department of Revenue at (617) 887-6367 for the exemption.
- Massachusetts Veterans’ Cemeteries: There will be two State cemeteries (Agawam and Winchendon) that will be available to inter the Commonwealth’s deceased veterans, spouses, and dependents. Call your local Veterans’ Service Officer or DVS for information.
- VA National Cemetery: Massachusetts’ National Cemetery is located in Bourne on Cape Cod. The telephone number is (508) 563-7113.
- Annuity: There is a $2000 annuity available for 100% service connected disabled veterans, parents of a son or daughter whose death occurred as a result of injury sustained or disease contracted during active service in time of war, insurrection or combat, and to a spouse whose husband or wife died as a result of injury sustained or disease contracted during active service in time of war, insurrection or combat.
- Public Housing: Veterans and their families are given preference for state-aided public housing through their local housing authority.
- Employment: Veterans are given preference for employment on the eligibility list for civil service positions.
- Veterans’ License Plates: A variety of veterans’ license plates are available through the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
- Women Veterans: DVS has a Women Veterans Network Program whose mission is to provide women with information on benefits; expand awareness of the needs of women veterans and identify available health and human resources to meet those needs; and to advocate on behalf of women veterans.
- Record Retention: The local Department of Veterans’ Services/Veterans’ Service Officer provides a repository for local records. Veterans are urged to provide copies of their service records (DD-214) or Separation Documents) to their Veterans’ Service Officer for safer storage and future reference.
- Educational Assistance: Veterans may be eligible to attend state colleges tuition free or discounted, on a space available basis. Contact the Veterans’ Representative at the State College of your choice.
- Soldiers’ Homes: The Soldiers’ Homes provide a variety of services to veterans, such as, acute hospital, domiciliary, and long-term care, physical and occupational therapy and more. Please call (413)532-9475 extension 1136 for Holyoke, or (617)884-5660 extension 210 for Chelsea.
- Outreach and Housing: A network of 15 DVS-sponsored Outreach Centers and Housing facilities provide graduated levels of shelter, care, guidance and counsel.
- Homeless Prevention/Outreach Centers provide: Extensive counseling and a network of assistance to veterans and their families who are in danger of becoming homeless.
- Emergency Shelters provide: A safe environment, a bed for the night, meals, bathing facilities, basic clothing, medical assessment, and assistance with identifying income support, and a variety of counseling.
- Transitional Housing provides: Single rooms, shared meals, family-style atmosphere and a variety of services and counseling up to 24 months. During this time individuals enjoy responsibilities and some structure leading to permanent housing and a return to independence.
- Permanent Housing: There are about 123 units of permanent housing, otherwise known as a Graduate Housing, run by veterans. These houses are there to continue the level of support experienced by veterans in more temporary housing. Often people have come so far, it is a top goal to lend strong support to prevent any falling back or relapses of earlier days.
The Department of Veterans’ Services at (617) 210-5480 or visit the web site: www.mass.gov/veterans.