State / Territory Benefits - Massachusetts

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State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation
Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Benefits
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Resource Locator
Miscellaneous Benefits
Wounded Warrior Benefits
Survivor Benefits
Army National Guard Benefits
US Army Reserve Benefits
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities
Resources

 

Summary: Massachusetts offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including a State Bonus Program, State Annuities, State Employment Hiring Preference for Veterans, Prisoners of War, and National Guard Members, Property Tax Exemptions, State Employment Preferences, Education and Tuition Assistance, Vehicle Tags, as well as Hunting and Fishing License privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component, and Veteran disability status.


State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility


State Taxes

State Taxes: Massachusetts also has an income tax filing deadline for military personnel in combat zones in accordance with Mass. General Law chapter 62C, section 81. The Federal Service members Civil Relief Act effects Massachusetts taxes in that it requires modification to the calculation of eligibility for "no tax status" and the "limited income credit" under Mass. General Laws chapter 62, section 5(a). More information can be found at Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

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Retired Military Pay: Not taxed.

Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before September 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.

Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

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Unemployment Insurance: Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) administers the Unemployment Insurance program, providing temporary assistance to unemployed Massachusetts workers. Unemployment insurance (UI) is a temporary income protection program for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able to work, available for work and looking for employment. Funding for UI benefits comes from quarterly contributions paid by the state's employers; no deductions are made from workers' salaries.

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Property Tax: All Veterans (and spouses* where applicable) are eligible for property tax exemptions. To apply, Veteran should contact the assessor's office in their community and application must be made annually.
Eligibility: To qualify, Veterans (and spouses* where applicable) must:

  • be at least 10% disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

  • be legal residents of Massachusetts

  • be occupying the property as his/her domicile on July 1 in the year of application

  • have lived in Massachusetts for at least six months prior to entering the service (spouses exempted) or

  • have lived in Massachusetts for five consecutive years immediately prior to filing for a property tax exemption.

*Under M.G.L. c. 59 s. 5, clauses 22A, 22B, 22C, and 22E, surviving spouses of disabled Veterans who qualified for exemptions ranging from $750.00 to $1500 may now continue to receive the higher amount regardless of marital status. Under M.G.L. c. 58 s.8A, surviving spouses of those in receipt of full exemptions continue to receive them regardless of marital status.

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Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Exemption: Motor vehicle excise tax exemption for disabled Veterans and ex-prisoners of war.
Eligibility: Veterans as defined in section 7 of chapter 4 of the Massachusetts General Laws who by reason of service in the U.S. armed forces have suffered the loss of, or permanent loss of the use of, one or both feet or one or one or both arms or has permanent visual impairments as determined by the VA or has been determined by the medical advisory board within the Registry of Motor Vehicles to be permanently disabled is eligible for motor vehicle excise exemption (applicable only to one motor vehicle owned and registered for personal, non-commercial use).
*For ex-prisoners of war, and their surviving spouse, the law allowing the exemption for the motor vehicle excise must be accepted by the city or town to be applicable.

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Sales Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Disabled Veterans are eligible for a motor vehicle sales tax exemption (applicable only to one motor vehicle owned and registered for personal, non-commercial use).
Eligibility: Disabled Veterans who by reason of service in the United States Armed Forces have suffered the loss of, or permanent loss of the use of, both legs or both arms or one leg and one arm or the Veteran has been determined to be permanently disabled by the medical advisory board established under section 8C of chapter 90 and has been issued a disabled Veteran number plate under section 2 of chapter 90.

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Education Benefits:

Tuition and Fee Waivers for Guard Members: The Massachusetts National Guard Education Assistance Program provides a 100% tuition and fee waiver for Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers attending a state college, university, or community college program. Generally, these state-supported programs are offered during the day as part of a degree program. Your assistance can continue as long as you are in good standing academically and until you have reached 130 semester hours.

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UMass Boston and Suffolk University Upward Bound Program: The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program at the UMass Boston and Suffolk University provides a unique opportunity for Veterans of all ages to gain access to information about college and career awareness, acquire the academic skills required for entry into higher education and/or to acquire the equivalent of a high school diploma.
Eligibility: In order to qualify, the Veteran:

  • be U.S. citizen or permanent resident

  • have served over 180 days of active military duty or have a service-connected disability. For reservists serving on or after September 11, 2001, shorter terms of service may provide eligibility

  • have a military discharge other than dishonorable

  • have academic need

And, applicants must qualify in one of the following two ways:

  • They must be a potential first-generation college graduate (their primary caregiver had not graduated from a four-year higher education institution before the applicant turned 18), OR

  • They must meet income guidelines for the program. These are based on federal taxable income and family size. Please call for detailed guidelines.

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Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund (MSLF): Was established to specifically help the children of Massachusetts Service members who have died while deployed on Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. The MSLF is designed to grant funds for current and future college/university students whose parent's "home of record" at the Department of Defense was Massachusetts and were killed on deployment during Operations Enduring or Iraqi Freedom.
Eligibility: There is no selection process. If the student is a child of a Service member whose service is credited to Massachusetts and gave his/her life in Operation Enduring or Iraqi Freedom, that student qualifies for funds. Prior to each school year, the trustees will distribute equal grant shares to those students who qualify. The only requirement for recipients will be that they have filed applications establishing that they are qualified, and that they remain enrolled in the undergraduate or postgraduate program at the college or university.

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Operation Recognition: Allows high schools to award diplomas to World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans who left school for good upon being drafted or enlisting in the military.

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Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely enrollment of children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.
  • Facilitating the student placement process through which children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment. Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities.
  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of children of military Families.
  • Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact.
  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact.
  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military children.
  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student.

Primary Point of Contact:
BG Paul Gregory Smith, Commissioner
Address: 10 Holden St, Ashburnham, MA 01430
Email: pgsmith@net1plus.com
Phone: 774-573-4667

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Employment Benefits:

State Employment Hiring Preference for Veterans, Prisoners of War, and National Guard Members: Massachusetts Veterans receive Veterans' preference for open competitive civil service exams, receive extra points for promotional exams, and are placed at the top of the registry for labor service. Veterans who are employed by state government may be eligible to buy back up to four years of active service.
Eligibility: All Veterans as defined by M.G.L. c.4, s.7, clause 43 are eligible for Veterans' preference in civil service positions. Veterans are given preference in the eligibility lists of civil service positions in the following order:

  1. Disabled Veterans

  2. Veterans

  3. Spouses or single parents of Veterans who were killed in action or died from a service connected disability incurred during wartime service, provided that the spouse or parent has not remarried.

Veterans who apply for civil service jobs, for which there is no exam, and therefore no list, receive preference over non-Veterans. If there is more than one Veteran, it is up to the appointing authority to make the choice between or among them. If an authority wants to by-pass this law, it has to get the Human Resource Division's (HRD) approval. HRD's civil service unit also maintains lists of state agencies with vacancies and will notify interested Veterans of openings. M.G.L. c. 31, s. 12

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National Guard and Reserve Job Protection: State law protects the jobs of Massachusetts National Guard members called to active duty and provides tenure for certain Veterans in non-civil service positions.

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Public or Private Sector Reemployment: If are called up to active duty, from either the public or the private sector, you are guaranteed your job and additional rights when you return to your job, under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, ( USERRA,) Title 38 of the U.S. Code 4301. So long as before activation you give advance notice to the employer, you are not gone for more than five years, you receive an honorable or general discharge, and you promptly return to work, you are protected. Essentially USERRA provides that you have the same job and benefits as when you left. It is as though you never left. For more information, please call the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston at 617-626-6699.
Eligibility: National Guard and Reserve Service members.

Public Service Reemployment: Under state law, if you are a public employee who resigns to serve in the military, you are considered on a leave of absence, and can be reemployed so long as you return within two years of military service. You are entitled to all seniority rights so long as you return to public service within two years. Your employee pension is protected and your military service is credited to it.
Eligibility: National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Military Leave: 17 days paid military leave per year.
Eligibility: National Guard

State Active Duty Per Diem Compensation Rate: Daily per diem compensation is $100.00.
Eligibility: National Guard members while on state active duty.

 

Unemployment Compensation:

Unemployment Insurance: Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) administers the Unemployment Insurance program, providing temporary assistance to unemployed Massachusetts workers. Unemployment insurance (UI) is a temporary income protection program for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and who are able to work, available for work and looking for employment. Funding for UI benefits comes from quarterly contributions paid by the state's employers; no deductions are made from workers' salaries.

You will be asked the following information when filing your claim:

  • Your Social Security Number

  • The year you were born

  • Your home address and telephone number

  • Whether you have filed an unemployment insurance claim in Massachusetts or in any other state during the past 12 months

  • Your last day of employment

  • The names and addresses of all of the employers you have worked for during the 15 months prior to filing your claim and the dates you worked for each of these employers. If you are reopening a claim, be ready with the same information for the past 8 weeks

  • The reason that you are no longer working or that your hours have been reduced

  • The names, dates of birth and social security numbers for any dependent children, if you are going to apply for dependency allowance

  • Your alien registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen

If You Are Not a United States Citizen

You must provide verification that you were legally eligible to work in Massachusetts and that you are currently eligible to begin a new job. Please be prepared with this verification.

To file a new claim or reopen a claim by phone:
Expanded Hours: 7:30am to 4:30pm Monday - Friday. Call 877-626-6800 from area codes 351, 413, 508, 774, and 978 or 617-626-6800 from any other area code.

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Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Benefits:

Motor Vehicle Registration Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Disabled Veterans who by reason of service in the U.S. armed forces have suffered the loss of, or permanent loss of, the use of one or both hands or feet, or who have permanent impairment of vision in both eyes, or any other disability or handicap of such Veterans that may be determined by the Medical Affairs Branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles (M.G.L. c. 90, s.8c), are eligible to receive, free of charge, disabled Veterans motor vehicle registration plates and are exempt from the biannual registration renewal fee. M.G.L. ch. 90, s.2

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Motor Vehicle Registration Exemption for Ex-Prisoners of War: All Veterans of any war or military action who, in the course of duty, have been captured and incarcerated by an enemy of the U.S. during an armed conflict are eligible to receive, free of charge, ex-prisoner of war motor vehicle registration plates and are exempt from the biannual registration renewal fee. Presentation of satisfactory evidence of such prisoner of war status is required. A surviving spouse will be able to keep this plate until he/she remarries, or fails to renew or cancels such registration, but an annual fee would then be required. M.G.L. ch. 90, s.2

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Veteran Plate: Veterans are eligible to receive one set of plates for each vehicle registered in his or her name if they served:

  • 180 days of regular active duty service (enlisted or drafted service) and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training), or
  • 90 days of active duty service (Reservists or National Guard), one day of which is during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training)
  • The initial registration fee is $50. Special Plate Fee is $40, the renewal fee is $90 every two years. Proceeds from the Special Plate fee will benefit the Soldiers Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke.

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Legion of Valor Plate: One set of Legion of Valor license plates may be issued (without charge) to those Veterans who provide satisfactory evidence of membership in the Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Inc (recipients of Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, and Air Force Cross). These plates must be renewed every year.

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EX-POW Plate: One set of EX-POW license plates may be issued (without charge) to former prisoners of war. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Purple Heart Plate: One set of Purple Heart license plates, for each Purple Heart medal received, may be issued (without charge) to those Veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal. A Purple Heart medal recipient must prove that s/he has been awarded a Purple Heart in order to receive these plates. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Pearl Harbor Survivor Plate: One set of Pearl Harbor Survivor plates are issued to Veterans who served in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, as verified by the Department of Defense, are eligible for this plate. There is no charge for this plate. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Silver Star Plate: One set of Silver Star plates per each Silver Star awarded may be issued (without charge) to those Veterans who can prove they have been awarded the Silver Star medal. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Bronze Star Plate: One set of Bronze Star plates for each Bronze Star medal received may be issued (without charge) to those Veterans who can prove that they have been awarded the bronze Star Medal. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Distinguished Flying Cross Plate: One set of Distinguished Flying Cross plates may be issued (without charge) to those Veterans who can prove that they have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross medal.

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Gold Star Family Plate: One set of Distinctive Gold Star Family plates are available without charge to parents, children, or spouses of those killed in action during wartime service. Each person qualified under the Gold Star Family law is eligible for a plate. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Disabled Veteran Plate: Disabled Veterans' plates with handicap symbol are acquired though the Medical Affairs Branch of the RMV. A Veteran must be at least 60% disabled to apply. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Congressional Medal of Honor Plate: One set of Congressional Medal of Honor plates (without charge) are issued to Veterans who have received a Congressional Medal of Honor. These plates must be renewed every year.

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National Guard Plate: One set of National Guard plates are issued to members of the Massachusetts National Guard who have a rank equal to or higher than an E2 rating. The initial registration fee is $50, Special Plate Fee is $40, and the renewal fee is $90 every two years.

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Health and Insurance Benefits:

Medical Benefits: Disability, injury or disease the compensation is determined by a medical board, benefits include expenses.
Eligibility: National Guard for line-of-duty on State Active Duty.

Group Insurance: Up to $250,000.00 term life insurance, spouse coverage up to $250,000.00, child coverage up to $15,000.00 under various plans. Massachusetts pays half the monthly life insurance premiums for Guard members.
Eligibility: National Guard Active Duty

Injury: Active duty: $25.00 per week for 200 week or lump sum payment of $5,000.00.
Eligibility: National Guard Active Duty

Death Benefits: $100,000.00 death benefit paid to families of Guard members killed in the line of duty.
Eligibility: National Guard Veterans, members of the Massachusetts National Guard and their families.

Worker's Compensation: Actual costs
Eligibility: National Guard Active Duty

 

Parks and Recreation Benefits:

Free Fishing / Hunting License - Disabled. Disabled Massachusetts residents (blind, paraplegic) may qualify for a free MA freshwater fishing license. To qualify for the free freshwater Massachusetts fishing license on account of a disability: (1) you must be a resident citizen of the US; (2) you must have been a legal resident in Massachusetts for at least 6 consecutive months immediately before applying; and (3) you must submit proper medical proof of disability along with your license application.
Note: If this is your first time applying for a MA resident disabled fishing license, you'll have to submit your application and a letter from your physician directly to the Boston office of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife. (Click here to download an application in PDF format)

Eligibility: Blind Veterans: (Fishing License) Sightless or having less than 1/10 of normal vision in the more efficient eye when refractive defects are fully corrected by lenses. Paraplegic Veterans: (Fishing/Hunting license) Total paralysis of the lower half of the body with involvement of both legs.

State Park Parking Fees: Parking fees are waived for vehicles bearing a disabled Veterans' license plate from any state. This waiver does not apply to camping fees and is subject to available parking.

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Miscellaneous Benefits:

State Veteran Annuities: An annuity in the amount of $2000.00, which is payable biannually on August 1st and February 1st in two installments of $1000.00 each is available for certain Veterans and their spouses, as well as Gold Star Parents. This benefit is provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Department of Veterans' Services.
Eligibility: This annuity is given in recognition of the service of our distinguished 100% service-connected disabled Veterans and to the parents of distinguished Veterans (Gold Star Parents) and the un-remarried spouses (Gold Star Wives or Husbands) of distinguished Veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country during wartime. Eligible applicants should meet the following criteria:
Veteran:

  • Meets one of the service time requirements set forth in 108 CMR 3.03.
  • Has received any discharge from military service other than a dishonorable discharge.
  • Is a resident of Massachusetts at the time of applying for the annuity and continues to be a resident of the Commonwealth as per M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6A.
  • Meets the requirements for blindness, paraplegia, double amputation or other disability set forth in M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6B and so certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Proof of service and disability shall be furnished to the Commissioner as per M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6C.

Parent or Spouse:

  • Death of Veteran must be service-connected.
  • Must reside in the Commonwealth and must continue to reside in Massachusetts from the date of application and while in receipt of the annuity payments.
  • Spouses must not be remarried.

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Veteran Bonuses: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a bonus to Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces. In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus noted below.

Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and who performed six months active duty from July 1, 1958 and prior to April 1, 1973 are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who served six months or more active duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served on duty in Vietnam are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Persian Gulf War: Persian Gulf Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and performed thirty days or more during the period of August 2, 1990 to April 10, 1991 and whose service was under honorable conditions are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who were called to active service in support of said war including as members of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard or as Reservists in the armed forces of the United States in an area other than the Persian Gulf area are eligible for a $300 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed active service in the Persian Gulf area (war zone or contiguous waters) and who are in receipt of the Southwest Asia Service Medal established by executive order of the President on March 13, 1991 are eligible for a $500 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Korean War: Korean Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed ninety days stateside duty are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served one or more days outside of the continental limits of the United States or performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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World War II: World War II Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed one day to six months active service are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more stateside service are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Welcome Home Bonus: The State Treasurer's Office, Veterans' Bonus Division, will administer the Welcome Home Bonus to Veterans of the Global War on Terrorism. You are eligible if you meet the following criteria: six months domicile in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry into the armed forces service, beginning September 11, 2001, and discharge under honorable conditions.

  • Service members who served active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan receive $1000.
  • Service members with six months or more active service, stateside or outside the continental limits of the United States, receive $500.

(Note: Active service shall not include active duty for training in the Army or Air National Guard, or active duty for training as a Reservist in the armed forces of the United States). Next-of-kin of eligible Service members killed in action may receive the Welcome Home Bonus if the Veteran had not already received it.

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State Benefits for Dependents of a Veteran: Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent Veterans and their dependents. Qualifying Veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, housing supplies, and medical care in accordance with a formula which takes into account the number of dependants and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased Veterans are provided with the same benefits as they would were the Veteran still living.
Eligible Dependents: The following categories of persons may qualify as dependents eligible to receive Veterans' benefits:

  • Spouse of the Veteran.
  • Widow or widower of the Veteran.
  • Dependent parent of the Veteran.
  • Any person who acted as a parent to the Veteran for five years immediately preceding the commencement of the Veteran's wartime service.
  • Child of the Veteran until his or her 19th birthday.
  • Child of the Veteran between 19 years and 23 years of age while the child is attending high school, an institution of higher learning or some other accredited educational institution provided that the applicant is in receipt of benefits under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 115.
  • Child of the Veteran 19 years of age or older who is mentally or physically unable to support himself or herself and was affected by the disability prior to his or her 18th birthday.
  • Legally adopted children of the Veteran.

To Establish Relationship as a Veteran's Dependent:

  • Marriage certificate (for spouse or widow/widower of a Veteran).
  • Birth certificate or adoption record with name of eligible Veteran as parent (for child of a Veteran).
  • Death certificate (for widow/widower of a Veteran, child of deceased Veteran).
  • Birth certificate of Veteran with name of parent (for parent of a Veteran).
  • Public record or statements from the Veteran or other knowledgeable people, showing that the applicant stood in place of a parent to the Veteran for five years immediately preceding the Veteran's wartime service (for person in place of a parent to a Veteran).

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Soldiers' Homes: There are two Soldiers' Homes in Massachusetts. Chelsea Soldiers' Home provides quality health care services to Massachusetts' honorably discharged wartime Veterans with non-service connected health problems, and Holyoke Soldiers' Home a multifaceted health care facility available to eligible Veterans of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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State Veteran Cemetery: There are two state Veterans' cemeteries in Massachusetts (Agawam and Winchendon) where eligible Veterans can be buried at no cost. There will be a nominal fee for the burial of spouses and eligible dependents.

Eligibility: Eligibility for Veteran's interment at the state cemeteries is based on military service and Massachusetts residency.

Military Service

  • The Veteran was discharged or released from active duty service (other than for training purposes) under honorable conditions. Certain exceptions do apply. A copy of the DD214 or other detailed military discharge documentation must be provided. OR
  • The Veteran served at least 20 years in the National Guard or United States Reserves and is in receipt of a military pension or has documentation verifying he/she will receive retirement pay at age 60, in accordance with Title 10, Chapter 1223. A copy of Title 10 letter and all other documentation must be provided. OR
  • Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty and whose home of record is Massachusetts.

Residency

  • "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" on DD214 is Massachusetts. OR
  • If "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" is not listed or Veteran entered military service from a state other than Massachusetts proof of Massachusetts residency for at least one day after discharge is required. Acceptable documentation includes a photocopy of Massachusetts driver's license or original letter from city/town clerk verifying residency. OR
  • The Veteran was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of his/her death.

Marriage

Veteran and spouse must be legally married. A former spouse of an eligible Veteran whose marriage to that Veteran has been terminated by annulment or divorce is not eligible. If spouse is also a Veteran, a completed application must be submitted for the spouse at this time.

Dependent Children

  • Deceased unmarried minor child, under 21 years of age, or 23 if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution. Separate "Dependent Child Application for Interment Registration" must be submitted.
  • Unmarried adult child incapable of self-support with physical or mental disability acquired before age 21, or 23 if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution, and is totally dependent upon the eligible Veteran for support. Letter from the Child's doctor or court documentation stating that child is totally dependent on Veteran for support, type of disability and at what age it was acquired is required and must accompany the application. Copy of full, long form birth certificate required. Separate "Dependent Child Application for Interment Registration" must be submitted.

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Wounded Warrior Benefits:

State Taxes: Massachusetts also has an income tax filing deadline for military personnel in combat zones in accordance with Mass. General Law chapter 62C, section 81. The Federal Service members Civil Relief Act effects Massachusetts taxes in that it requires modification to the calculation of eligibility for "no tax status" and the "limited income credit" under Mass. General Laws chapter 62, section 5(a). More information can be found at Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

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Military Disability Retired Pay: Retirees who entered the military before Sept. 24, 1975, and members receiving disability retirements based on combat injuries or who could receive disability payments from the VA are covered by laws giving disability broad exemption from federal income tax. Most military retired pay based on service-related disabilities also is free from federal income tax, but there is no guarantee of total protection.

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Property Tax: All Veterans (and spouses* where applicable) are eligible for property tax exemptions. To apply, Veteran should contact the assessor's office in their community and application must be made annually.
Eligibility: To qualify, Veterans (and spouses* where applicable) must:

  • be at least 10% disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • be legal residents of Massachusetts
  • be occupying the property as his/her domicile on July 1 in the year of application
  • have lived in Massachusetts for at least six months prior to entering the service (spouses exempted) or
  • have lived in Massachusetts for five consecutive years immediately prior to filing for a property tax exemption.

*Under M.G.L. c. 59 s. 5, clauses 22A, 22B, 22C, and 22E, surviving spouses of disabled Veterans who qualified for exemptions ranging from $750.00 to $1500 may now continue to receive the higher amount regardless of marital status. Under M.G.L. c. 58 s.8A, surviving spouses of those in receipt of full exemptions continue to receive them regardless of marital status.

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Motor Vehicle Excise Tax Exemption: Motor vehicle excise tax exemption for disabled Veterans and ex-prisoners of war.
Eligibility: Veterans as defined in section 7 of chapter 4 of the Massachusetts General Laws who by reason of service in the U.S. armed forces have suffered the loss of, or permanent loss of the use of, one or both feet or one or one or both arms or has permanent visual impairments as determined by the VA or has been determined by the medical advisory board within the Registry of Motor Vehicles to be permanently disabled is eligible for motor vehicle excise exemption (applicable only to one motor vehicle owned and registered for personal, non-commercial use).
*For ex-prisoners of war, and their surviving spouse, the law allowing the exemption for the motor vehicle excise must be accepted by the city or town to be applicable.

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Sales Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Disabled Veterans are eligible for a motor vehicle sales tax exemption (applicable only to one motor vehicle owned and registered for personal, non-commercial use).
Eligibility: Disabled Veterans who by reason of service in the United States Armed Forces have suffered the loss of, or permanent loss of the use of, both legs or both arms or one leg and one arm or the Veteran has been determined to be permanently disabled by the medical advisory board established under section 8C of chapter 90 and has been issued a disabled Veteran number plate under section 2 of chapter 90.

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State Employment Hiring Preference for Veterans, Prisoners of War, and National Guard Members: Massachusetts Veterans receive Veterans' preference for open competitive civil service exams, receive extra points for promotional exams, and are placed at the top of the registry for labor service. Veterans who are employed by state government may be eligible to buy back up to four years of active service.
Eligibility: All Veterans as defined by M.G.L. c.4, s.7, clause 43 are eligible for Veterans' preference in civil service positions. Veterans are given preference in the eligibility lists of civil service positions in the following order:

  1. Disabled Veterans
  2. Veterans
  3. Spouses or single parents of Veterans who were killed in action or died from a service connected disability incurred during wartime service, provided that the spouse or parent has not remarried.

Veterans who apply for civil service jobs, for which there is no exam, and therefore no list, receive preference over non-Veterans. If there is more than one Veteran, it is up to the appointing authority to make the choice between or among them. If an authority wants to by-pass this law, it has to get the Human Resource Division's (HRD) approval. HRD's civil service unit also maintains lists of state agencies with vacancies and will notify interested Veterans of openings. M.G.L. c. 31, s. 12

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Motor Vehicle Registration Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Disabled Veterans who by reason of service in the U.S. armed forces have suffered the loss of, or permanent loss of, the use of one or both hands or feet, or who have permanent impairment of vision in both eyes, or any other disability or handicap of such Veterans that may be determined by the Medical Affairs Branch of the Registry of Motor Vehicles (M.G.L. c. 90, s.8c), are eligible to receive, free of charge, disabled Veterans motor vehicle registration plates and are exempt from the biannual registration renewal fee. M.G.L. ch. 90, s.2

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Veteran Plate: Veterans are eligible to receive one set of plates for each vehicle registered in his or her name if they served:

  • 180 days of regular active duty service (enlisted or drafted service) and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training), or
  • 90 days of active duty service (Reservists or National Guard), one day of which is during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training)
  • The initial registration fee is $50. Special Plate Fee is $40, the renewal fee is $90 every two years. Proceeds from the Special Plate fee will benefit the Soldiers Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke.

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Purple Heart Plate: One set of Purple Heart license plates, for each Purple Heart medal received, may be issued (without charge) to those Veterans who have been awarded the Purple Heart medal. A Purple Heart medal recipient must prove that s/he has been awarded a Purple Heart in order to receive these plates. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Disabled Veteran Plate: Disabled Veterans' plates with handicap symbol are acquired though the Medical Affairs Branch of the RMV. A Veteran must be at least 60% disabled to apply. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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Welcome Home Bonus: The State Treasurer's Office, Veterans' Bonus Division, will administer the Welcome Home Bonus to Veterans of the Global War on Terrorism. You are eligible if you meet the following criteria: six months domicile in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry into the armed forces service, beginning September 11, 2001, and discharge under honorable conditions.

  • Service members who served active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan receive $1000.
  • Service members with six months or more active service, stateside or outside the continental limits of the United States, receive $500.

(Note: Active service shall not include active duty for training in the Army or Air National Guard, or active duty for training as a Reservist in the armed forces of the United States). Next-of-kin of eligible Service members killed in action may receive the Welcome Home Bonus if the Veteran had not already received it.

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State Veteran Annuities: An annuity in the amount of $2000.00, which is payable biannually on August 1st and February 1st in two installments of $1000.00 each is available for certain Veterans and their spouses, as well as Gold Star Parents. This benefit is provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Department of Veterans' Services.
Eligibility: This annuity is given in recognition of the service of our distinguished 100% service-connected disabled Veterans and to the parents of distinguished Veterans (Gold Star Parents) and the un-remarried spouses (Gold Star Wives or Husbands) of distinguished Veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country during wartime. Eligible applicants should meet the following criteria:
Veteran:

  • Meets one of the service time requirements set forth in 108 CMR 3.03.
  • Has received any discharge from military service other than a dishonorable discharge.
  • Is a resident of Massachusetts at the time of applying for the annuity and continues to be a resident of the Commonwealth as per M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6A.
  • Meets the requirements for blindness, paraplegia, double amputation or other disability set forth in M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6B and so certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Proof of service and disability shall be furnished to the Commissioner as per M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6C.

Parent or Spouse:

  • Death of Veteran must be service-connected.
  • Must reside in the Commonwealth and must continue to reside in Massachusetts from the date of application and while in receipt of the annuity payments.
  • Spouses must not be remarried.

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Soldiers' Homes: There are two Soldiers' Homes in Massachusetts. Chelsea Soldiers' Home provides quality health care services to Massachusetts' honorably discharged wartime Veterans with non-service connected health problems, and Holyoke Soldiers' Home a multifaceted health care facility available to eligible Veterans of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

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Survivor Benefits:

VA Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: VA benefits are not taxable because they generally are for disabilities and are not subject to federal or state taxes.

Military SBP/SSBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Generally subject to state taxes for those states with income tax. Check with state department of revenue office.

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Property Tax: All Veterans (and spouses* where applicable) are eligible for property tax exemptions. To apply, Veteran should contact the assessor's office in their community and application must be made annually.
Eligibility: To qualify, Veterans 9and spouses* where applicable) must:

  • be at least 10% disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • be legal residents of Massachusetts
  • be occupying the property as his/her domicile on July 1 in the year of application
  • have lived in Massachusetts for at least six months prior to entering the service (spouses exempted) or
  • have lived in Massachusetts for five consecutive years immediately prior to filing for a property tax exemption.

*Under M.G.L. c. 59 s. 5, clauses 22A, 22B, 22C, and 22E, surviving spouses of disabled Veterans who qualified for exemptions ranging from $750.00 to $1500 may now continue to receive the higher amount regardless of marital status. Under M.G.L. c. 58 s.8A, surviving spouses of those in receipt of full exemptions continue to receive them regardless of marital status.

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Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund (MSLF): Was established to specifically help the children of Massachusetts Service members who have died while deployed on Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. The MSLF is designed to grant funds for current and future college/university students whose parent's "home of record" at the Department of Defense was Massachusetts and were killed on deployment during Operations Enduring or Iraqi Freedom.
Eligibility: There is no selection process. If the student is a child of a Service member whose service is credited to Massachusetts and gave his/her life in Operation Enduring or Iraqi Freedom, that student qualifies for funds. Prior to each school year, the trustees will distribute equal grant shares to those students who qualify. The only requirement for recipients will be that they have filed applications establishing that they are qualified, and that they remain enrolled in the undergraduate or postgraduate program at the college or university.

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State Employment Hiring Preference for Veterans, Prisoners of War, and National Guard Members: Massachusetts Veterans receive Veterans' preference for open competitive civil service exams, receive extra points for promotional exams, and are placed at the top of the registry for labor service. Veterans who are employed by state government may be eligible to buy back up to four years of active service.
Eligibility: All Veterans as defined by M.G.L. c.4, s.7, clause 43 are eligible for Veterans' preference in civil service positions. Veterans are given preference in the eligibility lists of civil service positions in the following order:

  1. Disabled Veterans
  2. Veterans
  3. Spouses or single parents of Veterans who were killed in action or died from a service connected disability incurred during wartime service, provided that the spouse or parent has not remarried.

Veterans who apply for civil service jobs, for which there is no exam, and therefore no list, receive preference over non-Veterans. If there is more than one Veteran, it is up to the appointing authority to make the choice between or among them. If an authority wants to by-pass this law, it has to get the Human Resource Division's (HRD) approval. HRD's civil service unit also maintains lists of state agencies with vacancies and will notify interested Veterans of openings. M.G.L. c. 31, s. 12

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Motor Vehicle Registration Exemption for Ex-Prisoners of War: All Veterans of any war or military action who, in the course of duty, have been captured and incarcerated by an enemy of the U.S. during an armed conflict are eligible to receive, free of charge, ex-prisoner of war motor vehicle registration plates and are exempt from the biannual registration renewal fee. Presentation of satisfactory evidence of such prisoner of war status is required. A surviving spouse will be able to keep this plate until he/she remarries, or fails to renew or cancels such registration, but an annual fee would then be required. M.G.L. ch. 90, s.2

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Gold Star Family Plate: One set of Distinctive Gold Star Family plates are available without charge to parents, children, or spouses of those killed in action during wartime service. Each person qualified under the Gold Star Family law is eligible for a plate. These plates must be renewed every two years.

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State Veteran Annuities: An annuity in the amount of $2000.00, which is payable biannually on August 1st and February 1st in two installments of $1000.00 each is available for certain Veterans and their spouses, as well as Gold Star Parents. This benefit is provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, through the Department of Veterans' Services.
Eligibility: This annuity is given in recognition of the service of our distinguished 100% service-connected disabled Veterans and to the parents of distinguished Veterans (Gold Star Parents) and the un-remarried spouses (Gold Star Wives or Husbands) of distinguished Veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country during wartime. Eligible applicants should meet the following criteria:
Veteran:

  • Meets one of the service time requirements set forth in 108 CMR 3.03.
  • Has received any discharge from military service other than a dishonorable discharge.
  • Is a resident of Massachusetts at the time of applying for the annuity and continues to be a resident of the Commonwealth as per M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6A.
  • Meets the requirements for blindness, paraplegia, double amputation or other disability set forth in M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6B and so certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Proof of service and disability shall be furnished to the Commissioner as per M.G.L. ch. 115, s.6C.

Parent or Spouse:

  • Death of Veteran must be service-connected.
  • Must reside in the Commonwealth and must continue to reside in Massachusetts from the date of application and while in receipt of the annuity payments.
  • Spouses must not be remarried.

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Veteran Bonuses: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a bonus to Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces. In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus noted below.

Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and who performed six months active duty from July 1, 1958 and prior to April 1, 1973 are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who served six months or more active duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served on duty in Vietnam are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Persian Gulf War: Persian Gulf Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and performed thirty days or more during the period of August 2, 1990 to April 10, 1991 and whose service was under honorable conditions are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who were called to active service in support of said war including as members of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard or as Reservists in the armed forces of the United States in an area other than the Persian Gulf area are eligible for a $300 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed active service in the Persian Gulf area (war zone or contiguous waters) and who are in receipt of the Southwest Asia Service Medal established by executive order of the President on March 13, 1991 are eligible for a $500 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Korean War: Korean Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed ninety days stateside duty are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served one or more days outside of the continental limits of the United States or performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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World War II: World War II Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed one day to six months active service are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more stateside service are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Welcome Home Bonus: The State Treasurer's Office, Veterans' Bonus Division, will administer the Welcome Home Bonus to Veterans of the Global War on Terrorism. You are eligible if you meet the following criteria: six months domicile in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry into the armed forces service, beginning September 11, 2001, and discharge under honorable conditions.

  • Service members who served active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan receive $1000.
  • Service members with six months or more active service, stateside or outside the continental limits of the United States, receive $500.

(Note: Active service shall not include active duty for training in the Army or Air National Guard, or active duty for training as a Reservist in the armed forces of the United States). Next-of-kin of eligible Service members killed in action may receive the Welcome Home Bonus if the Veteran had not already received it.

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State Benefits for Dependents of a Veteran: Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent Veterans and their dependents. Qualifying Veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, housing supplies, and medical care in accordance with a formula which takes into account the number of dependants and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased Veterans are provided with the same benefits as they would were the Veteran still living.
Eligible Dependents: The following categories of persons may qualify as dependents eligible to receive Veterans' benefits:

  • Spouse of the Veteran.
  • Widow or widower of the Veteran.
  • Dependent parent of the Veteran.
  • Any person who acted as a parent to the Veteran for five years immediately preceding the commencement of the Veteran's wartime service.
  • Child of the Veteran until his or her 19th birthday.
  • Child of the Veteran between 19 years and 23 years of age while the child is attending high school, an institution of higher learning or some other accredited educational institution provided that the applicant is in receipt of benefits under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 115.
  • Child of the Veteran 19 years of age or older who is mentally or physically unable to support himself or herself and was affected by the disability prior to his or her 18th birthday.
  • Legally adopted children of the Veteran.

To Establish Relationship as a Veteran's Dependent:

  • Marriage certificate (for spouse or widow/widower of a Veteran).
  • Birth certificate or adoption record with name of eligible Veteran as parent (for child of a Veteran).
  • Death certificate (for widow/widower of a Veteran, child of deceased Veteran).
  • Birth certificate of Veteran with name of parent (for parent of a Veteran).
  • Public record or statements from the Veteran or other knowledgeable people, showing that the applicant stood in place of a parent to the Veteran for five years immediately preceding the Veteran's wartime service (for person in place of a parent to a Veteran).

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State Veteran Cemetery: There are two state Veterans' cemeteries in Massachusetts (Agawam and Winchendon) where eligible Veterans can be buried at no cost. There will be a nominal fee for the burial of spouses and eligible dependents.
Eligibility: Eligibility for Veteran's interment at the state cemeteries is based on military service and Massachusetts residency.

Military Service

  • The Veteran was discharged or released from active duty service (other than for training purposes) under honorable conditions. Certain exceptions do apply. A copy of the DD214 or other detailed military discharge documentation must be provided. OR
  • The Veteran served at least 20 years in the National Guard or United States Reserves and is in receipt of a military pension or has documentation verifying he/she will receive retirement pay at age 60, in accordance with Title 10, Chapter 1223. A copy of Title 10 letter and all other documentation must be provided. OR
  • Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty and whose home of record is Massachusetts.

Residency

  • "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" on DD214 is Massachusetts. OR
  • If "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" is not listed or Veteran entered military service from a state other than Massachusetts proof of Massachusetts residency for at least one day after discharge is required. Acceptable documentation includes a photocopy of Massachusetts driver's license or original letter from city/town clerk verifying residency. OR
  • The Veteran was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of his/her death.

Marriage

Veteran and spouse must be legally married. A former spouse of an eligible Veteran whose marriage to that Veteran has been terminated by annulment or divorce is not eligible. If spouse is also a Veteran, a completed application must be submitted for the spouse at this time.

Dependent Children

  • Deceased unmarried minor child, under 21 years of age, or 23 if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution. Separate "Dependent Child Application for Interment Registration" must be submitted.
  • Unmarried adult child incapable of self-support with physical or mental disability acquired before age 21, or 23 if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution, and is totally dependent upon the eligible Veteran for support. Letter from the Child's doctor or court documentation stating that child is totally dependent on Veteran for support, type of disability and at what age it was acquired is required and must accompany the application. Copy of full, long form birth certificate required. Separate "Dependent Child Application for Interment Registration" must be submitted.

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Federal Taxes: The Service members Civil Relief Act may allow reservists called to active duty and enlistees in the armed forces to defer taxes owed. A Service member must be apply for the deferral. The deferral does not extend the deadline for filing tax returns. However, taxpayers in the armed forces may get extra time to file under other provisions, such as being stationed overseas, in a combat zone or in a qualified hazardous area. More information concerning deferral and extended deadlines for military personnel for federal taxes can be accessed at www.irs.gov
Eligibility: National Guard and Reservists on active duty

State Taxes: Massachusetts also has an income tax filing deadline for military personnel in combat zones in accordance with Mass. General Law chapter 62C, section 81. The Federal Service members Civil Relief Act effects Massachusetts taxes in that it requires modification to the calculation of eligibility for "no tax status" and the "limited income credit" under Mass. General Laws chapter 62, section 5(a). More information can be found at Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

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Tuition and Fee Waivers for Guard Members: The Massachusetts National Guard Education Assistance Program provides a 100% tuition and fee waiver for Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers attending a state college, university, or community college program. Generally, these state-supported programs are offered during the day as part of a degree program. Your assistance can continue as long as you are in good standing academically and until you have reached 130 semester hours.

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UMass Boston and Suffolk University Upward Bound Program: The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program at the UMass Boston and Suffolk University provides a unique opportunity for Veterans of all ages to gain access to information about college and career awareness, acquire the academic skills required for entry into higher education and/or to acquire the equivalent of a high school diploma.
Eligibility: In order to qualify, the Veteran:

  • be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • have served over 180 days of active military duty or have a service-connected disability. For reservists serving on or after September 11, 2001, shorter terms of service may provide eligibility
  • have a military discharge other than dishonorable
  • have academic need

And, applicants must qualify in one of the following two ways:

  • They must be a potential first-generation college graduate (their primary caregiver had not graduated from a four-year higher education institution before the applicant turned 18), OR
  • They must meet income guidelines for the program. These are based on federal taxable income and family size. Please call for detailed guidelines.

Learn more

 

Army National Guard Benefits:

 

State Employment Hiring Preference for Veterans, Prisoners of War, and National Guard Members: Massachusetts Veterans receive Veterans' preference for open competitive civil service exams, receive extra points for promotional exams, and are placed at the top of the registry for labor service. Veterans who are employed by state government may be eligible to buy back up to four years of active service.
Eligibility: All Veterans as defined by M.G.L. c.4, s.7, clause 43 are eligible for Veterans' preference in civil service positions. Veterans are given preference in the eligibility lists of civil service positions in the following order:

  1. Disabled Veterans
  2. Veterans
  3. Spouses or single parents of Veterans who were killed in action or died from a service connected disability incurred during wartime service, provided that the spouse or parent has not remarried.

Veterans who apply for civil service jobs, for which there is no exam, and therefore no list, receive preference over non-Veterans. If there is more than one Veteran, it is up to the appointing authority to make the choice between or among them. If an authority wants to by-pass this law, it has to get the Human Resource Division's (HRD) approval. HRD's civil service unit also maintains lists of state agencies with vacancies and will notify interested Veterans of openings. M.G.L. c. 31, s. 12

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National Guard and Reserve Job Protection: State law protects the jobs of Massachusetts National Guard members called to active duty and provides tenure for certain Veterans in non-civil service positions.

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Public or Private Sector Reemployment: If are called up to active duty, from either the public or the private sector, you are guaranteed your job and additional rights when you return to your job, under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, ( USERRA,) Title 38 of the U.S. Code 4301. So long as before activation you give advance notice to the employer, you are not gone for more than five years, you receive an honorable or general discharge, and you promptly return to work, you are protected. Essentially USERRA provides that you have the same job and benefits as when you left. It is as though you never left. For more information, please call the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston at 617-626-6699.
Eligibility: National Guard and Reserve Service members.

Public Service Reemployment: Under state law, if you are a public employee who resigns to serve in the military, you are considered on a leave of absence, and can be reemployed so long as you return within two years of military service. You are entitled to all seniority rights so long as you return to public service within two years. Your employee pension is protected and your military service is credited to it.
Eligibility: National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Military Leave: 17 days paid military leave per year.
Eligibility: National Guard

State Active Duty Per Diem Compensation Rate: Daily per diem compensation is $100.00.
Eligibility: National Guard members while on state active duty

Veteran Plate: Veterans are eligible to receive one set of plates for each vehicle registered in his or her name if they served:

  • 180 days of regular active duty service (enlisted or drafted service) and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training), or
  • 90 days of active duty service (Reservists or National Guard), one day of which is during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training)
  • The initial registration fee is $50. Special Plate Fee is $40, the renewal fee is $90 every two years. Proceeds from the Special Plate fee will benefit the Soldiers Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke.

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National Guard Plate: One set of National Guard plates are issued to members of the Massachusetts National Guard who have a rank equal to or higher than an E2 rating. The initial registration fee is $50, Special Plate Fee is $40, and t he renewal fee is $90 every two years.

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Medical Benefits: Disability, injury or disease the compensation is determined by a medical board, benefits include expenses.
Eligibility: National Guard for line-of-duty on State Active Duty.

Group Insurance: Up to $250,000.00 term life insurance, spouse coverage up to $250,000.00, child coverage up to $15,000.00 under various plans. Massachusetts pays half the monthly life insurance premiums for Guard members.
Eligibility: National Guard Active Duty

Injury: Active duty: $25.00 per week for 200 week or lump sum payment of $5,000.00.
Eligibility: National Guard Active Duty

Death Benefits: $100,000.00 death benefit paid to Families of Guard members killed in the line of duty.
Eligibility: National Guard Veterans, members of the Massachusetts National Guard and their Families.

Worker's Compensation: Actual costs
Eligibility: National Guard Active Duty

Veteran Bonuses: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a bonus to Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces. In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus noted below.

Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and who performed six months active duty from July 1, 1958 and prior to April 1, 1973 are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who served six months or more active duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served on duty in Vietnam are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

Learn more

Persian Gulf War: Persian Gulf Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and performed thirty days or more during the period of August 2, 1990 to April 10, 1991 and whose service was under honorable conditions are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who were called to active service in support of said war including as members of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard or as Reservists in the armed forces of the United States in an area other than the Persian Gulf area are eligible for a $300 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed active service in the Persian Gulf area (war zone or contiguous waters) and who are in receipt of the Southwest Asia Service Medal established by executive order of the President on March 13, 1991 are eligible for a $500 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

Learn more

Korean War: Korean Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed ninety days stateside duty are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served one or more days outside of the continental limits of the United States or performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

Learn more

World War II: World War II Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed one day to six months active service are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more stateside service are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

Learn more


Welcome Home Bonus: The State Treasurer's Office, Veterans' Bonus Division, will administer the Welcome Home Bonus to Veterans of the Global War on Terrorism. You are eligible if you meet the following criteria: six months domicile in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry into the armed forces service, beginning September 11, 2001, and discharge under honorable conditions.

  • Service members who served active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan receive $1000.
  • Service members with six months or more active service, stateside or outside the continental limits of the United States, receive $500.

(Note: Active service shall not include active duty for training in the Army or Air National Guard, or active duty for training as a Reservist in the armed forces of the United States). Next-of-kin of eligible Service members killed in action may receive the Welcome Home Bonus if the Veteran had not already received it.

Learn more

State Veteran Cemetery: There are two state Veterans' cemeteries in Massachusetts (Agawam and Winchendon) where eligible Veterans can be buried at no cost. There will be a nominal fee for the burial of spouses and eligible dependents.
Eligibility: Eligibility for Veteran's interment at the state cemeteries is based on military service and Massachusetts residency.

Military Service

  • The Veteran was discharged or released from active duty service (other than for training purposes) under honorable conditions. Certain exceptions do apply. A copy of the DD214 or other detailed military discharge documentation must be provided. OR
  • The Veteran served at least 20 years in the National Guard or United States Reserves and is in receipt of a military pension or has documentation verifying he/she will receive retirement pay at age 60, in accordance with Title 10, Chapter 1223. A copy of Title 10 letter and all other documentation must be provided. OR
  • Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty and whose home of record is Massachusetts.

 

Residency

  • "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" on DD214 is Massachusetts. OR
  • If "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" is not listed or Veteran entered military service from a state other than Massachusetts proof of Massachusetts residency for at least one day after discharge is required. Acceptable documentation includes a photocopy of Massachusetts driver's license or original letter from city/town clerk verifying residency. OR
  • The Veteran was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of his/her death.

Learn more

US Army Reserve Benefits:

Federal Taxes: The Service members Civil Relief Act may allow reservists called to active duty and enlistees in the armed forces to defer taxes owed. A Service member must be apply for the deferral. The deferral does not extend the deadline for filing tax returns. However, taxpayers in the armed forces may get extra time to file under other provisions, such as being stationed overseas, in a combat zone or in a qualified hazardous area. More information concerning deferral and extended deadlines for military personnel for federal taxes can be accessed at www.irs.gov
Eligibility: National Guard and Reservists on active duty

State Taxes: Massachusetts also has an income tax filing deadline for military personnel in combat zones in accordance with Mass. General Law chapter 62C, section 81. The Federal Service members Civil Relief Act effects Massachusetts taxes in that it requires modification to the calculation of eligibility for "no tax status" and the "limited income credit" under Mass. General Laws chapter 62, section 5(a). More information can be found at Massachusetts Department of Revenue.

Learn more

UMass Boston and Suffolk University Upward Bound Program: The Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) Program at the UMass Boston and Suffolk University provides a unique opportunity for Veterans of all ages to gain access to information about college and career awareness, acquire the academic skills required for entry into higher education and/or to acquire the equivalent of a high school diploma.
Eligibility: In order to qualify, the Veteran:

  • be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • have served over 180 days of active military duty or have a service-connected disability. For reservists serving on or after September 11, 2001, shorter terms of service may provide eligibility
  • have a military discharge other than dishonorable
  • have academic need

And, applicants must qualify in one of the following two ways:

  • They must be a potential first-generation college graduate (their primary caregiver had not graduated from a four-year higher education institution before the applicant turned 18), OR
  • They must meet income guidelines for the program. These are based on federal taxable income and family size. Please call for detailed guidelines.

Learn more

Public or Private Sector Reemployment: If are called up to active duty, from either the public or the private sector, you are guaranteed your job and additional rights when you return to your job, under the federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, ( USERRA,) Title 38 of the U.S. Code 4301. So long as before activation you give advance notice to the employer, you are not gone for more than five years, you receive an honorable or general discharge, and you promptly return to work, you are protected. Essentially USERRA provides that you have the same job and benefits as when you left. It is as though you never left. For more information, please call the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston at 617-626-6699.
Eligibility: National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Public Service Reemployment: Under state law, if you are a public employee who resigns to serve in the military, you are considered on a leave of absence, and can be reemployed so long as you return within two years of military service. You are entitled to all seniority rights so long as you return to public service within two years. Your employee pension is protected and your military service is credited to it.
Eligibility: National Guard and Reserve Service members.

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Veteran Plate: Veterans are eligible to receive one set of plates for each vehicle registered in his or her name if they served:

  • 180 days of regular active duty service (enlisted or drafted service) and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training), or
  • 90 days of active duty service (Reservists or National Guard), one day of which is during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions (does not include training)
  • The initial registration fee is $50. Special Plate Fee is $40, the renewal fee is $90 every two years. Proceeds from the Special Plate fee will benefit the Soldiers Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke.

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Veteran Bonuses: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a bonus to Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces. In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus noted below.

Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and who performed six months active duty from July 1, 1958 and prior to April 1, 1973 are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who served six months or more active duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served on duty in Vietnam are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Persian Gulf War: Persian Gulf Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces and performed thirty days or more during the period of August 2, 1990 to April 10, 1991 and whose service was under honorable conditions are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who were called to active service in support of said war including as members of the Army National Guard or Air National Guard or as Reservists in the armed forces of the United States in an area other than the Persian Gulf area are eligible for a $300 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed active service in the Persian Gulf area (war zone or contiguous waters) and who are in receipt of the Southwest Asia Service Medal established by executive order of the President on March 13, 1991 are eligible for a $500 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Korean War: Korean Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed ninety days stateside duty are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more duty are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who served one or more days outside of the continental limits of the United States or performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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World War II: World War II Veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces are eligible for a bonus according to the following stipulations:

  • Those Veterans who performed one day to six months active service are eligible for a $100 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed six months or more stateside service are eligible for a $200 bonus.
  • Those Veterans who performed Foreign Service are eligible for a $300 bonus.

In case of the death of a Veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased Veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.

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Welcome Home Bonus: The State Treasurer's Office, Veterans' Bonus Division, will administer the Welcome Home Bonus to Veterans of the Global War on Terrorism. You are eligible if you meet the following criteria: six months domicile in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry into the armed forces service, beginning September 11, 2001, and discharge under honorable conditions.

  • Service members who served active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan receive $1000.
  • Service members with six months or more active service, stateside or outside the continental limits of the United States, receive $500.

(Note: Active service shall not include active duty for training in the Army or Air National Guard, or active duty for training as a Reservist in the armed forces of the United States). Next-of-kin of eligible Service members killed in action may receive the Welcome Home Bonus if the Veteran had not already received it.

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State Veteran Cemetery: There are two state Veterans' cemeteries in Massachusetts (Agawam and Winchendon) where eligible Veterans can be buried at no cost. There will be a nominal fee for the burial of spouses and eligible dependents.
Eligibility: Eligibility for Veteran's interment at the state cemeteries is based on military service and Massachusetts residency.

Military Service

  • The Veteran was discharged or released from active duty service (other than for training purposes) under honorable conditions. Certain exceptions do apply. A copy of the DD214 or other detailed military discharge documentation must be provided. OR
  • The Veteran served at least 20 years in the National Guard or United States Reserves and is in receipt of a military pension or has documentation verifying he/she will receive retirement pay at age 60, in accordance with Title 10, Chapter 1223. A copy of Title 10 letter and all other documentation must be provided. OR
  • Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty and whose home of record is Massachusetts.

 

Residency

  • "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" on DD214 is Massachusetts. OR
  • If "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" is not listed or Veteran entered military service from a state other than Massachusetts proof of Massachusetts residency for at least one day after discharge is required. Acceptable documentation includes a photocopy of Massachusetts driver's license or original letter from city/town clerk verifying residency. OR
  • The Veteran was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of his/her death.

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Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in Massachusetts:

VA Health Care System
Jamaica Plain: VA Boston Healthcare System, 150 South Huntington Ave, 617-232-9500

VA Medical Centers
Bedford: Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Rd, 781-687-2000
Brockton: VA Boston Healthcare System, Brockton Campus, 940 Belmont St, 508-583-4500 / 800-865-3384
Jamaica Plain: VA Boston Healthcare System, Jamaica Plain Campus, 150 S. Huntington Ave, 617-232-9500 / 800-865-3384
Leeds: VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System, 421 North Main St, 413-584-4040
West Roxbury: VA Boston Healthcare System, West Roxbury Campus, 1400 VFW Pkwy, 617-323-7700 / 800-865-3384

Outpatient Clinic
Boston: Causeway OPC, 251 Causeway St, 617-248-1000

Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Fitchburg: Fitchburg Outpatient Clinic, Burbank Hospital, 275 Nichols Rd, 978-342-9781
Framingham: Framingham Outpatient Clinic, 61 Lincoln St, Suite 112, 508-628-0205
Gloucester: Gloucester Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), Addison Gilbert Hospital, 298 Washington St, 978-282-0676 ext. 1782
Greenfield: Greenfield Outpatient Clinic, 143 Munson St, 413-773-8428
Haverhill: Haverhill Outpatient Clinic, 108 Merrimack St, 978-372-5207
Hyannis: Hyannis Outpatient Clinic, 233 Stevens St, 508-771-3190
Lowell: Lowell Outpatient Clinic, 130 Marshall Rd, 978-671-9000
Lynn: Lynn Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), 225 Boston St, Suite 107, 781-595-9818
New Bedford: New Bedford Outpatient Clinic, 175 Elm St, 508-994-0217
Pittsfield: Pittsfield Outpatient Clinic, 73 Eagle St, 413-499-2672
Plymouth: Plymouth Outreach Clinic, 116 Long Pond Rd, Suite 4, 800-865-3384
Quincy: Quincy Outpatient Clinic, Quincy Medical Center, 2nd Fl, 114 Whitwell St, 617-376-2010
Springfield: Springfield Outpatient Clinic, 25 Bond St, 413-731-6000
Worcester: Worcester Outpatient Clinic, 605 Lincoln St, 508-856-0104

Vet Center
Boston: Boston Vet Center, 7 Drydock Ave, Suite 2070, 617-424-0665 / 877-927-8387
Brockton: Brockton Vet Center, 1041L Pearl St, 508-580-2730 / 877-927-8387
Fairhaven: New Bedford Vet Center, 73 Huttleton Ave, Unit 2, 508-999-6920 / 877-927-8387
Hyannis: Hyannis Vet Center, 474 West Main St, 508-778-0124 / 877-927-8387
Lowell: Lowell Vet Center, 10 George St, Gateway Center, 978-453-1151 / 877-927-8387
Springfield: Springfield Vet Center, 1985 Main St. Northgate Plaza, 413-737-5167 / 877-927-8387
Worcester: Worcester Vet Center, 691 Grafton St, 508-753-7902 / 877-927-8387

VISN:
Bedford: VISN 1: VA New England Healthcare System

Learn more

 

Resources

http://www.mass.gov/veterans/

http://www.retirementliving.com/taxes-kansas-new-mexico#MASSACHUSETTS

http://www2.va.gov/directory/guide/state.asp?State=MA&dnum=ALL

http://www.oefoif.va.gov/

http://www.mass.gov/veterans/women-veterans/

http://www.va.gov/

http://www.mass.gov/dor/individuals/seniors-students-and-military-personnel/military-personnel/

http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/veteran/

http://www.mass.gov/lwd/employment-services/specialized-job-seeker-services/veterans-programs-and-services/

http://www.mass.gov/rmv/veteran/index.htm

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/vets/realifelines/stateinfo.htm?state=MA

http://mic3.net/pages/contact/Map/massachusetts.aspx

 

 

Document Review Date: 3 June 2013