Veterans Services

Veterans Services

Chapter 115 of the Massachusetts General Laws dates back to 1861 and the Civil War and to related laws and regulations, which established a Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services, to oversee state mandated municipal Department of Veterans Services of the distribution of benefits to Massachusetts Veterans.
Local Department of Veterans' Services are mandated by state law to be maintained in all 351 cities and towns for the sole purpose of assisting veterans and their dependents in receiving Federal, State and Local benefits made available by the U.S. Government, by the Commonwealth and its tax payers.

It is the job of your Veterans' Service Officer to be a part of the local governmental structure and the representative of both past and present local veterans population and to provide the veteran and their dependents (living and dead) access to every Federal, State and Local benefits and services to which they are entitled - including assisting in the funeral and honoring them after death.

Thus, while it is true, that our veterans ranks are declining, the demand for help from local Veterans Service Officers in the incline. Also, as long as the United States maintains its Armed Forces, there will always be new veterans that return to Massachusetts to swell the ranks after their tours of duty are ended.

Recent legislation has been enacted by the Commonwealth to benefit our veterans and their dependents:

  1. We now have two state cemeteries
  2. Mandated training and certification for all Veterans Service Officers
  3. Increase in real estate tax abatement for certain disabled veterans
  4. Granting surviving spouse of certain disabled veterans the same real estate tax abatement that the veteran received while alive
  5. Increased amount of annuities from $500.00 to $1500.00 including all 100% disabled veterans
  6. Peacetime veterans now entitled to Ch 115 benefits
  7. Established and funded a Woman's Outreach Program
  8. Welcome Home Bonus c 130, Acts of 2005 ($1,000) ($500.00)
  9. Compilation of All Veterans of All Wars
  10. Established Veterans Web Site

Finally, financial benefits paid to eligible veterans under Chapter 115 are reimbursable to the town at 75%.