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
Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities
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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 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: In Massachusetts, U.S. military pensions, which are included in Federal gross income, are excluded from state gross income.

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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.

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Military SBP/RCSBP/RSFPP: Survivor Benefit Program pensions which are paid to a surviving Spouse are not taxed.

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Property Tax: All Veterans (and Spouses* where applicable) are eligible for a range of property tax exemptions. To apply, the 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 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. M.G.L. ch. 60A, s.1
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). M.G.L. ch.64H, s.6 (u)
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. M.G.L. Ch. 33, s.137

Contact the Veterans' Representative at the college or university for details. The Massachusetts Office of Veterans' Education can also provide assistance.

Office of Veterans' Education
Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
1 Ashburton Place, Room 1401
Boston, MA 02108-1696
617-994-6914
veted@bhe.mass.edu
http://www.mass.edu/veterans/

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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 contact the respective school for detailed guidelines:

Suffolk University
73 Tremont, Suite 7025
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: 617-725-4100
Fax: 617-994-6864
Email: vub@suffolk.edu
Website: www.suffolk.edu/academics/20556.php

UMass Boston
100 Morrissey Boulevard
McCormack Hall, 3rd Floor, Room 704
Boston, MA 02125
Phone: 617-287-5870
Fax: 617-287-3073
Email: veteransupwardbound@umb.edu
Website: https://www.umb.edu/academics/vpass/support_programs/veterans_upward_bound

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Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund (MSLF): This program 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. M.G.L. Ch. 71, s. 4 Contact your local Veterans' Service Officer (VSO) for details on how to apply.

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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:
Mitchell D. Chester, Chief State School Officer
Address: 75 Pleasant St., Malden, MA 02148-4906
Email: www@doe.mass.edu
Phone: 781-338-3111

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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, cl. 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:

  • Disabled Veterans

  • Veterans

  • 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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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. For more information, please call the U.S. Department of Labor in Boston at 617-626-6699.

Under state law (M.G.L. c. 33 s. 13), 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 and Reserve Service members

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State Active Duty Per Diem Compensation Rate: Daily per diem compensation is no less than $100.00 while performing duty under M.G. L. Ch 33, Sec 38, 40, 41, and 42.
Eligibility: National Guard members while on state active duty. (M.G.L. Ch. 33 Sc. 83 para. B)

Compensation and Other Benefits to Employees of the Commonwealth Called to Active Military Service: The Commonwealth will make provisions for the payment of the difference between the military base pay and the state base pay, if the state base pay is higher for the same pay period.

The amended legislation defines military pay to exclude all allowances, such as housing, uniform, combat pay, spousal allowance, etc. as well as overtime pay, shift differential pay, hazardous duty pay or any other additional compensation received for military service. This differs from Chapter 137 of the Acts of 2003 that defined military pay to include allowances and additional compensation.

The applicable state salary is based on base pay and will not include any additional compensation, such as overtime pay, shift differential, hazardous duty pay, or any other additional compensation. For those paid under the provisions of the Technical Pay Law (TPL), use the TPL salary as the basis for determining the state base pay. Similarly, those paid at salary collision rates should have their collision salary used as the basis for comparison. Holiday pay will also be presumed to be part of the state salary.

In addition, both the original and amended versions of the legislation provide that employees covered by this act shall not lose any seniority or any accrued vacation leave, sick leave, personal leave, compensation time or previously earned overtime.

The new act applies to all employees called to active service, other than training, after September 11, 2001, regardless of whether or not they are still on active duty as of the enactment of the legislation. FAQs  

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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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Veterans' Employment & Training Services (VETS) Program: The Veterans Employment & Training Services (VETS) program is provided with grant funding from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The grant allows the Department of Career Services (DCS) to provide Disabled Veteran's Outreach Program (DVOP) specialists and Local Veteran Employment Representatives (LVERs) at One-Stop Career Centers across the state.

The purpose of the VETS grant is to ensure the provision of a full range of employment and training services to Veterans. Since Veterans are given priority of service status under the law, it is particularly important for LVERs and DVOPs to be connected with all Veterans coming into the Career Centers. In addition, LVERs and DVOPs maintain up-to-date information about all the programs and services available to assist Veterans at the federal, state, and local level.

Disabled Veteran Outreach Program (DVOP): DVOPs provide assistance to management and staff to ensure full and timely access to employment and training services for Veterans. DVOP staff facilitates intensive services to Veterans with special employment and training needs, with particular emphasis on disabled, recently separated, and campaign badge Veterans. Services provided by local DVOP staff include:

  • In-depth assessment of current skill levels and needs;

  • Career and vocational guidance and counseling;

  • Coordinating access to and delivery of supportive services;

  • Developing and maintaining relationships with employers for job development purposes;

  • Referral to job openings; and

  • Referral to training opportunities.

Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER): Each Massachusetts LVER assigned to a One-Stop Career Centers has responsibility for performing the five following core duties:

  • Joining with other local service providers to maximize access to services for Veterans;

  • Advocacy for Veterans' employment and training opportunities;

  • Employer relations and job development;

  • Facilitating job placement and other employment services; and

  • Reporting to the state and federal governments regarding program outcomes.

In areas of the state where a DVOP is not assigned to a particular Career Center, the LVER will perform the duties necessary to assure development of an appropriate service plan and the timely delivery of services for Veterans with significant barriers to finding suitable employment.

For more information, please contact the Massachusetts Department of Career Services at 508-977-1407.

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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.

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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, and their surviving Spouse may elect to retain the plates until s/he remarries, or fails to renew or cancel such registration.

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'Veteran' designation on Drivers' License & State Identification Cards: All Massachusetts residents who are Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and were honorably discharged can choose to have a Veteran's Indicator on their Driver's License, Learner's Permit, Massachusetts ID card, or Liquor ID card. If they choose this, the word "Veteran" will be printed on the lower right corner of their license or ID card, or in the bottom center of their learner's permit. There is no additional fee for the Veteran's Indicator, but all regular transaction fees will apply.
Eligibility: One of the following documents (typed, not handwritten) must be presented to a full service RMV office as proof of honorable discharge:

  • A DD-214 that indicates honorable discharge

  • A DD-215 that indicates honorable discharge

  • An Honorable Discharge form

For more information, please visit the Online Services page of the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles, select 'License Policy', and select 'Veterans Indicator Policy'.

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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 $60. Special Plate Fee is $40; the renewal fee is $100 every two years. Proceeds from the Special Plate fee will benefit the Soldiers Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke.

  • A motorcycle plate is also available; please click the link for rates.

You must present one of the following documents to a full service RMV office to verify your Veteran status:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork

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Legion of Valor Plate: One set of Legion of Valor license plates may be issued (without charge) to members of the Legion of Valor of the USA, Inc. Legion of Valor members are recipients of the following medals:

  • Medal of Honor
  • Distinguished Service Cross
  • Navy Cross
  • Air Force Cross

An Application for Veteran's Plates must be completed. Along with this completed application, you must submit a photocopy of one of the following documents to the Special Plates Department of the RMV:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork

These plates must be renewed every year. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

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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. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

You must present one of the following documents to a full service RMV office to verify your eligibility:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork

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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. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

You must present one of the following documents to a full service RMV office to verify your eligibility:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork, or

  • Statement of Service from the United States Veterans' Administration

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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. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

An Application for Veteran's Plates must be completed. Along with this completed application, you must submit a photocopy of a Pearl Harbor Association membership card and a photocopy of one of the following documents to the Special Plates Department of the RMV:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork

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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. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

An Application for Veteran's Plates must be completed. Along with this completed application, you must submit a photocopy of one of the following documents to the Special Plates Department of the RMV:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork, or

  • Statement of Service from the United States Veterans' Administration

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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. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

An Application for Veteran's Plates must be completed. Along with this completed application, you must submit a photocopy of one of the following documents to the Special Plates Department of the RMV:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork, or

  • Statement of Service from the United States Veterans' Administration

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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. These plates must be renewed every two (2) years. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

An Application for Veteran's Plates must be completed. Along with this completed application, you must submit a photocopy of one of the following documents to the Special Plates Department of the RMV:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, Release from Active Duty paperwork

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Gold Star Family Plate: One set of Distinctive Gold Star Family plates are available without charge to Parents, grandparents, Children, grandchildren, siblings, or Spouses Soldiers who died while on active duty. A K.I.A. decal may be added to plate of those Soldiers killed in action during wartime service (the Soldiers DD Form 1300 must indicate "Killed in Action" in category box 4c). Each person qualified under the Gold Star Family law is eligible for a plate. These plates must be renewed every two years. Step-parents, step-Children, step-siblings, step-grandparents, or step-grandchildren are not eligible unless a legal adoption occurred prior to the Service member's death.

An Application for Gold Star Family Plates must be completed. Along with this completed application, you must submit a photocopy of one of the following documents to the Special Plates Department of the RMV:

  • A military casualty report (DD Form 1300),

  • A telegram for military members who served in WWII and/or the Korean war, or

  • An overseas death certificate issued by the military indicating the name and date of death.

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Disabled Veteran Plate: One set of Disabled Veterans' plates with handicap symbol (without charge) is issued to Veterans who:

  • Have a vehicle registered in their name,

  • Meet Medical Affairs guideline*, and

  • Provide the DV Plate letter from the Veteran's Administration that list impairments which otherwise qualify for disabled parking and total at least 60% service connected rating.

*To obtain Disabled Veterans' plates, the applicant must be a Massachusetts resident. In addition, a Massachusetts-registered and licensed physician, chiropractor, or nurse practitioner must certify that the applicant meets one of the following conditions:

  • Cannot walk 200 feet without stopping to rest.

  • Cannot walk without the assistance of another person, prosthetic aid, or other assistive device.

  • Is restricted by lung disease to the degree that the respiratory forced expiratory volume (FEV) in one second is less than 1 liter (when measured by spirometry).

  • Uses portable oxygen.

  • Has a Class III or IV cardiac condition according to American Heart Association guidelines. An applicant with a Class IV condition must surrender his/her license.

  • Has Class III or Class IV functional arthritis according to American College of Rheumatology standards.

  • Has been declared legally blind (copy of certification must be attached). An applicant in this classification must surrender his/her license.

  • Has lost one or more limbs or permanently lost the use of one or more limbs.

These plates must be renewed every two years.

An Application for Disabled Parking Placard/Plate must be completed. The completed application, along with a photocopy of supporting documentation, and/or a DV Plate letter from the Veterans' Administration stating a disability rating of at least 60% to:

Registry of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Medical Affairs
PO Box 55889
Boston, MA 02205-5889

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Medal of Honor Plate: One set of Medal of Honor plates (without charge) are issued to Veterans who have received a Medal of Honor. These plates must be renewed every year. A motorcycle plate is also available at no charge.

An Application for Veteran's Plates must be completed. Along with this completed application, you must submit a photocopy of one of the following documents to the Special Plates Department of the RMV:

  • Honorable Discharge, DD-214, or Release from Active Duty paperwork

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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 $60, Special Plate Fee is $40, and the renewal fee is $100 every two years.

An Application for Massachusetts National Guard Plates must be completed. This application must also be completed and signed by an official at the Massachusetts National Guard Headquarters. Once completed, you may bring the form to any full service RMV office to have the plates issued.

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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 $400,000.00 term life insurance, Spouse coverage up to $100,000, Child coverage up to $10,000 under various plans. Massachusetts pays half the monthly life insurance premiums for Guard members.
Eligibility: National Guard Active Duty

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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. M.G.L. ch. 33 Sc. 88

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

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Parks and Recreation Benefits:

Resident Hunting/Fishing Licenses for Military Personnel: Non-resident military personnel stationed in Massachusetts may apply for and receive hunting and fishing licenses at the resident rate. For the resident rates, please click the 'Learn more' tab below. M.G.L. Ch. 131, Sec. 11

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Reduced/Free Licenses: Reduced-rate or free hunting & fishing licenses are available for residents of Massachusetts in certain age ranges:

  • Recreational Saltwater Fishing: Free for age 60 & over

  • Freshwater Fishing:

    • Age 65-69: $16.25

    • Age 70 or over: No charge

  • Resident Hunting:

    • Age 65-69: $16.25

    • Age 70 or over: No charge.

*Note: At age 70 and over, the individual licenses are combined into a single sporting license which includes freshwater fishing and hunting.

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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 for Application for Resident Citizen Blind, Paraplegic or Intellectually Disabled Licenses.
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.

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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.

  • Parent/ Spouse 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.

There is a separate application form for each category of applicant:

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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.

Applications are available from the Office of the Treasurer website .

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.

Applicants must submit all applicable forms below:

For more information, contact the Veterans' Bonus Division at the Department of Veterans' Services:

600 Washington St., 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
617-210-5927
www.mass.gov/veterans
Email: mdvs@vet.state.ma.us

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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.

Applications are available from the Office of the Treasurer website.

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.

Applications are available from the Office of the Treasurer website .

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 discharged 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.

Applications are available from the Office of the Treasurer website for active status and discharged status. Proof of residency must accompany the application. Some examples of proof of residency include:

  • Census documents

  • School diplomas or transcripts that show six months to one year domicile before enlistment/deployment

  • W-2 form

  • Vehicle excise tax bill

  • Notarized rental agreement

Next-of-kin must provide documentation establishing a connection to the deceased. Do not hesitate to contact the Treasurer's Office with questions or concerns about your application and accompanying documents at 617-367-9333, Ext. 859.

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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 dependents and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased Veterans are provided with the same benefits as they would were the Veteran still living.
Eligibility: 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).

Applications for Chapter 115 Public Assistance benefits can be filed with the Veteran's local Veterans' Service Officer (VSO) who works out of your city or town hall. To find the appropriate VSO:

  • Click here for a complete listing of Veterans' Service Officers in Massachusetts.

  • Call your local city/town hall and ask for Veterans' Services.

  • Or, call the Department of Veterans' Services, 617-210-5480 and ask for your VSO's name and contact information.

Learn more

Soldiers' Homes: There are two Soldiers' Homes in Massachusetts:

Chelsea Soldiers' Home: Established in 1882, the Soldiers' Home in Chelsea is a state-funded, fully accredited, multifaceted health care facility available to eligible veterans of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Soldiers' Home is inspected annually by the Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Department of Public Health. The home features a dedicated Alzheimer's unit, as well as long-term and skilled nursing care.

The Soldiers' Home features its own library, dry cleaning, barber shops, an auditorium and recreation rooms, a dining room and canteen, and a dedicated pharmacy. Also available to residents are Catholic, Protestant and Jewish chaplains, counselor, recreational programs, regularly held beanos, coffee hours, and numerous outside trips. The safety and well-being of our residents is of paramount concern, as evidenced by our Campus Police Force, medical emergency alert system, and new fire alarm system. Residents can also fully utilize all of the many clinics at the Outpatient Department for their health care needs.

Services are available to Veterans at no charge. The Home accepts medical insurance plans and requires that all Veterans provide disclosure of their insurance coverage. If insurance does not cover the service, or if the Veteran has no insurance, there is never an out-of-pocket charge.

Please click here for contact information or here for directions.

Holyoke Soldiers' Home: The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke is a state-funded, fully accredited health care facility that offers Veterans quality health care, including full-time residential accommodations, an on-site dental clinic, and a multi-service outpatient department. The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of Western Massachusetts residents who are appointed by the Governor to oversee management of the Home. The Soldiers' Home is fully accredited by The Joint Commission on accreditation of healthcare organizations and inspected annually by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Soldiers' Home in Holyoke operates a 278-bed long term nursing care facility with 24-hour licensed nursing staff. Primary care physicians are available for Veteran residents. The long term nursing care facility includes a comfort care unit for Veterans who are in need of palliative care or hospice and an enhanced care unit for Veterans required additional physical occupational and respiratory services. Residential services include recreational activities.

In addition to long-term care, the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke also maintains a 30-room domiciliary for Veterans who require minimal assistance with activities of daily living. Veterans in the domiciliary are offered medical services through our outpatient department, and a social worker is available for case management.

Please click here for contact information or here for directions.

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. For eligible Spouses and dependents, a $300 fee for a full-casket burial or a $150 fee for a cremation burial is charged. A $200 fee is charged for all disinternments. All committal services are conducted in the chapel; there is no graveside service allowed.
Eligibility: Eligibility for Veteran's interment at the state cemeteries is based on the following guidelines:

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.

For more information, please contact the desired cemetery using the following information:

Agawam Cemetery
1390 Main St.
Agawam, MA 01001
Phone: 413-821-9500 / Fax: 413-821-9839
Website: http://www.mass.gov/veterans/cemeteries-and-honors/cemeteries/state-cemeteries/agawam.html

Winchendon Cemetery
111 Glenallen St.
Winchendon, MA 01475
Phone: 978-297-9501 / Fax: 978-297-4271
Website: http://www.mass.gov/veterans/cemeteries-and-honors/cemeteries/state-cemeteries/winchendon.html

Learn more

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Veterans Administration (VA) Medical Facilities in Massachusetts:

Veterans Health Administration
VA Health Care System: VA Boston Healthcare System

VA Medical Centers
Bedford: Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital, 200 Springs Rd, 781-687-2000 / 800-838-6331
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 / Fax: 617-278-4508
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 / Fax: 617-248-1282

Community Based Outpatient Clinics
Fitchburg: Fitchburg Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Burbank Hospital, 275 Nichols Rd, 978-342-9781 / Fax: 978-342-9521
Framingham: Framingham Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 61 Lincoln St, Suite 112, 508-628-0205 / Fax: 508-626-8224
Gloucester: Gloucester Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), Addison Gilbert Hospital, 298 Washington St, 978-282-0676 x1782 / Fax: 978-282-3497
Greenfield: Greenfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 143 Munson St, 413-773-8428 / Fax: 413-773-8435
Haverhill: Haverhill Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), 108 Merrimack St, 978-372-5207 / Fax: 978-372-5089
Hyannis: Hyannis Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 233 Stevens St, 508-771-3190 / Fax: 508-771-0940
Lowell: Lowell Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 130 Marshall Rd, 978-671-9000 / Fax: 978-671-9149
Lynn: Lynn Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC), 225 Boston Rd, Suite 107, 781-595-9818
New Bedford: New Bedford Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 175 Elm St, 508-994-0217 / Fax: 508-994-5489
Pittsfield: Pittsfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 73 Eagle St, 413-499-2672 / Fax: 413-447-8825
Plymouth: Plymouth Community Based Outreach Clinic, 116 Long Pond Rd, 800-865-3384
Quincy: Quincy Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Quincy Medical Center, 110 West Squantum St, 774-826-3070 / Fax: 617-376-3058
Springfield: Springfield Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 25 Bond St, 413-731-6000 / Fax: 413-788-5560
Worcester: Worcester Community Based Outpatient Clinic, 605 Lincoln St, 508-856-0104 / Fax: 508-856-7425

Vet Center: 877-927-8387
Boston: Boston Vet Center, 7 Drydock Ave, Suite 2070, 857-203-3001 / Fax: 617-261-3547
Brockton: Brockton Vet Center, 1041L Pearl St, 508-580-2730 / Fax: 508-586-8414
Fairhaven: New Bedford Vet Center, 73 Huttleton Ave, Unit 2, 508-999-6920 / Fax: 508-997-3348
Hyannis: Hyannis Vet Center, 474 West Main St, 508-778-0124 / Fax: 508-775-3014
Lowell: Lowell Vet Center, 10 George St, Gateway Center, 978-453-1151 / Fax: 978-441-1271
West Springfield: Springfield Vet Center, 95 Ashley Ave, Suite A, 413-737-5167 / 413-733-0537
Worcester: Worcester Vet Center, 691 Grafton St, 508-753-7902 / Fax: 508-753-4296

VISN:
Bedford: VISN 1: VA New England Healthcare System, 200 Springs Rd, Bldg 61, 781-687-4821

Veterans Benefits Administration Regional Benefit Office
Boston: Boston Regional Benefit Office, JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury St, 800-827-1000

National Cemetery Administration
National Cemetery
Ayer: Woodlawn Cemetery Soldiers' Lot, Harvard St, 508-563-7113 / Fax: 508-564-9946
Bourne: Massachusetts National Cemetery, Connery Ave, 508-563-7113 / Fax: 508-564-9946

Learn more

Department of Veterans' Services
600 Washington St, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Phone: 617-210-5480
fax: 617-210-5755
Email: MDVS@vet.state.ma.us

Learn more

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Military Installations in Massachusetts

Active Duty

Army
Fort Devens

Air Force
Hanscom Air Force Base

National Guard
Joint Base Cape Cod
Westover Air Reserve Base
Massachusetts National Guard
102nd Intelligence Wing
104th Fighter Wing

Resources

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

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

http://www.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.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx

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

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

Document Review Date: 8 June 2015