Federal, State, and Local Benefits

VA Health Care: Veteran Eligibility. If you served in the active military service and were separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. Current and former members of the Reserves or National Guard who were called to active duty by a federal order and completed the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty may be eligible for VA health benefits as well. Reserves or National Guard members with active duty for training purposes only do not meet the basic eligibility requirement. The very first step in obtaining access to your VA Health Benefits is to apply by visiting the US Department of Veterans Affairs website. If you meet the basic eligibility requirements outlined above, VA encourages you to apply today by completing VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits online.

Compensation and Financial Needs Based Pension

Property Tax: There are a number of exemptions available to certain disabled veterans or their survivors. Contact your local Veterans' Services Agent or city/town assessor. Click here for more information.

Sales & Excise Tax: Certain disabled Veterans are eligible for a motor vehicle sales & excise tax exemptions. Contact the Department of Revenue at (617) 887-6367 for the exemption.

Massachusetts Veterans' Cemeteries: There are two state Veterans' cemeteries in Massachusetts. Agawam: 1390 Main Street Agawam, MA 01001, Phone (413) 821-9500, and Winchendon: 111 Glenallen Street Winchendon, MA 01475, Phone (978) 297-9501 where eligible Veterans can be buried at no cost. There will be a nominal fee for the burial of spouses and eligible dependents. Call your local Veterans' Services Agent or DVS for information.

VA National Cemetery: Massachusetts' National Cemetery is located off Connery Avenue in Bourne on Cape Cod. Phone: (508) 563-7113, FAX (508) 564-9946, Office Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm. Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day. Visitation Hours: Open daily from dawn to dusk.

Veterans' License Plates: A variety of Veterans' license plates are available through the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Public Housing: Veterans and their families are given preference for state-aided public housing through their local housing authority.

Employment: Veterans are given preference for employment on the eligibility list for civil service positions.

Women Veterans: DVS has a Women Veterans Network Program whose mission is to provide women with information on benefits; expand awareness of the needs of women veterans and identify available health and human resources to meet those needs; and to advocate on behalf of women veterans. The Woman's Veterans' Network of the Department of Veterans' Services is the central resource for women veterans in Massachusetts. Click here for more information.

Record Retention: The local Department of Veterans' Services/Veterans' Services Agent provides a repository for local records. Veterans are urged to provide copies of their service records (DD-214) or Separation Documents to their Veterans' Services Agent for safer storage and future reference. To request your records of military service, visit the website by clicking here.

Educational Assistance: Veterans may be eligible to attend state colleges tuition free or discounted, on a space available basis. Contact the Veterans' Representative at the State College of your choice.

Soldiers' Homes: The Soldiers' Homes provide a variety of services to Veterans, such as acute hospital, domiciliary, and long-term care, physical and occupational therapy, and more. Please call (413) 532-9475 ext. 126 for Holyoke, or (617) 884-5660 ext. 210 for Chelsea.

Outreach and Housing: A network of DVS-sponsored Outreach Centers and Housing facilities provide graduated levels of shelter, care, guidance, and counsel. There are four emergency shelters, 11 transitional shelters, and 13 state-funded Outreach Centers scattered across the state that will provide help to veterans and their families at no cost. The VA Medical Centers in Bedford, Boston, Brocton, and the VA clinic in Springfield have Homeless Coordinators who can help. Women Veterans who are homeless or at-risk for homelessness can get help from the VA Boston's Women's Homelessness Program.

  1. Homeless Prevention/Outreach Centers provide: Extensive counseling and a network of assistance to Veterans and their families who are in danger of becoming homeless.
  2. Emergency Shelters provide: A safe environment, a bed for the night, meals, bathing facilities, basic clothing, medical assessment, and assistance with identifying income support, and a variety of counseling.
  3. Transitional Housing Shelter provide: Single rooms, shared meals, family-style atmosphere, and a variety of services and counseling up to 24 months. During this time individuals enjoy responsibilities and some structure leading to permanent housing and a return to independence.
  4. Permanent Housing: There are about 96 units of DVS supported permanent housing, otherwise known as a Graduate Housing, run by Veterans. These houses are there to continue the level of support experienced by veterans in more temporary housing. Often people have come so far, it is a top goal to lend strong support to prevent any falling back or relapses of earlier days.

Contact: The Department of Veterans' Services at (617) 210-5480 or click here to visit the website.

Click here to view the Veterans' Resource Guide

Click here to Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax.