State Benefits

Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services

Below are some of the benefits available to eligible veterans and their families.

PDF download logo Annuity: Effective 11/11/05 there is a $2,000 annuity available for 100% service-connected disabled veterans; or parents of a son or daughter who died as a result of injury sustained or disease contracted during active service in time of war, insurrection, or combat; or spouse whose husband or wife died as a result of injury sustained or disease contracted during active service in time of war, insurrection, or combat.

Bonuses: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a bonus to veterans who were domiciled in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry in the armed forces. In the 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.


Dates of Eligibility

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World War II

9/16/1940 to 7/25/1947




6/25/1950 to 1/31/1955




7/1/1958 to 5/17/1975



Persian Gulf

8/2/1990 to 4/10/1991



Global War on Terror (Post 9/11)

9/11/2001 to present



Deceased Veteran

Varies depending on era served



Chapter 115: The Commonwealth is the only state in the Union that has made generous provisions by state law by providing to veterans in need of financial assistance. Recipients of Chapter 115 benefits are also eligible for certain medical and prescription assistance.

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

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

Graves Care: The VSO works with the Veterans’ Graves Officers to ensure that communities are in compliance with Massachusetts General Laws and the policies regarding proper interment and care of veterans’ graves, including the placement of a United States flag on each veteran’s grave on Memorial Day.

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

PDF download logo Real Estate Tax:There are a number of exemptions available to certain disabled veterans or their survivors. Contact your local VSO or city/town assessor. Download the application for exemption.

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.

Soldiers' Homes: The Soldiers' Homes provide a variety of services to veterans such as, acute hospital, domiciliary, and long-term care, physical and occupational therapy and more. Please call (413) 532-9475 extension 1136 for Holyoke or (617) 884-5660 extension 210 for Chelsea.

VA National Cemetery: Massachusetts' National Cemetery is located in Bourne on Cape Cod. The telephone number is (508) 563-7113.

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, identify available health and human resources to meet those needs, and to advocate on behalf of women veterans.

Outreach and Housing: A network of 15 DVS-sponsored Outreach Centers and Housing facilities provide graduated levels of shelter, care, guidance, and counsel.

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, assistance with identifying income support, and a variety of counseling.

3. Transitional Housing provides:

Single rooms, shared meals, family-style atmosphere and a variety of services and counseling for 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 provides:

Continued 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 relapse of earlier days. There are about 123 units of permanent housing, otherwise known as Graduate Housing, run by veterans.

Contact: The Department of Veterans' Services at (617) 210-5480

Veterans Resource Guide

 Veterans' Resource Guide PDF download logo