Services Offered

Veteran Services Scope

State and local government leaders wanted to recognize service in the armed forces by providing certain essential benefits to men and women (both living and deceased) who had borne the burden of military duty—and to their families. Chapter 115 enables every eligible Massachusetts veteran to receive certain financial, medical, educational, employment, and other benefits earned by military service. Veterans, their dependents, and surviving spouses have been singled out to receive counsel and assistance dispensed through the 351 municipal Veterans’ Services offices.
 
Today Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) Chapter 115 requires every city and town to maintain a Department of Veterans’ Services through which the municipality makes available to its residents the services of a Veterans’ Service Officer (VSO). It is the job of the VSO to provide the veterans and their dependents access to every federal, state, and local benefit and service to which they are entitled
 
The Towns of Medway, Hopkinton, Holliston and Ashland formed the MetroWest Veterans Services District, to consolidate veteran services, conserve costs and achieve administrative efficiencies. The District began its operations on December 1, 2011.
 

Information / Assistance with

VA Disability Compensation Claims

•Veterans who sustained injuries or have illnesses related to military service.
•For National Guard or Reserve members who sustained injuries from their drill period or when on active duty for training (ACDUTRA).
•Have a service-connected disability and the condition has worsened, the veteran may file for an increase. 

VA Pensions

 Pension is a benefit paid to wartime veterans with limited income, and who are permanently and totally disabled or age 65 or older.
You may be eligible if:
• You were discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
• You served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war time, AND
• Your countable family income is below a yearly limit set by law, AND
• You are permanently and totally disabled, OR
• You are age 65 or older 

Survivor's Pension 

Death pension is a benefit paid to eligible dependents of deceased wartime veterans.  
You may be eligible if:
• The deceased veteran was discharged from service under other than dishonorable conditions, AND
• He or she served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war, AND
• You are the surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, AND
• Your countable income is below a yearly income limit set by law.
 

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC)

Is a monthly benefit paid to eligible survivors of a military service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease, OR veteran whose death resulted from a non-service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving, or was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling for at least 10 years immediately before death, OR since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999. 
You may be eligible if:
• The surviving spouse if he or she validly married the veteran, OR
• Was married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
• Married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran’s death began or was aggravated, OR
• Was married to the veteran for at least one year, OR
• Had a child with the veteran, AND cohabited with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND
• Is not currently remarried*.
Notes:
A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.
 
The surviving child(ren), if he/she is: not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC unmarried AND under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.
 
Certain helpless adult children are entitled to DIC

Death Benefits

Burial Flag

A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorable discharged.
 
You may be eligible if:
• A Veteran who served during wartime
• A Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
• A Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
• A Peacetime veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950
• Certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S Armed forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
• Certain former members of the Selected Reserves 

Headstone, Marker or Medallion:

 VA will provide a headstone, marker or medallion (upon request and at no charge) for the grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery in the world. For deaths occurring before Nov. 1, 1990, VA may furnish a headstone or marker only for graves that are not marked with a private headstone.
 Eligibility:
Any deceased Veteran discharged from the U.S. armed forces under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible for a government furnished headstone or marker. 
    • Service after Sept. 7, 1980, must be for a minimum of 24 consecutive months or be completed  under special circumstances (e.g., death on active duty.)
    • Persons who have only limited active duty service for training while in the National Guard or Reserves are not eligible unless there are special circumstances (e.g., death while on duty or as a result of training.)
    • Persons with 20 years of service in the National Guard or Reserves who are entitled to or will be entitled to retired pay at age 60 are also eligible for a government headstone or marker.

 Burial and Plot-Interment Allowances

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible Veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments:
    (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, AND
    (2) a plot or interment allowance.
 
You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:
• You paid for a Veteran's burial or funeral, AND
•You have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran's employer, AND
•The Veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
• The Veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR
• The Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
• The Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR
• The Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
• The Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR
• The Veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, OR
• The veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.
 

Obtaining Copies of Discharges (DD 214)

If your home of record at time of entry on active duty was in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or you requested Massachusetts Department of Veteran Services receive a copy or indicated an address in Massachusetts as your mailing address after discharge, your DD214 may be on file with the Massachusetts Attorney Generals Office, War Records Department
 
You may also request a copy by mailing an SF Form 180
 

Obtaining Military Personnel and Medical Records

 Mailing an SF Form 180

Process for upgrading discharges or corrections to discharge documents

Obtaining Medals

Applying for medical care through the Veterans Administration

Financial Assistance

Certain veterans and widows can be assisted with income supplements and medical assistance under Massachusetts law (MGL Chapter 115) provided that they meet income and asset limitations. Assistance is paid from the town of residence.
 

Education Information

Employment assistance

Property Tax abatements

Veterans Cemeteries

Massachusetts National Cemetery

     
Bourne, MA 02532
     Phone: (508) 563-7113
  Eligibility:
• Any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on active duty.
• Any Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.  With certain exceptions, service beginning after September 7, 1980, as an enlisted person, and service after October 16, 1981, as an officer, must be for a minimum of 24 continuous months or the full period for which the person was called to active duty
• Reservists and National Guard members who, at time of death, were entitled to retired pay under Chapter 1223, title 10, United States Code, or would have been entitled, but for being under the age of  60.  (note:  additional information can be found at VA.gov)
• United States Merchant Mariners with oceangoing service during the period of armed conflict, December 7, 1941, to December 31, 1946.  (Additional information can be found on VA.gov and the enactment of Public Law 105-368.
• The spouse or surviving spouse of an eligible Veteran is eligible for interment in a national cemetery even if that Veteran is not buried or memorialized in a national cemetery
• The minor children of an eligible Veteran (under age 21  and unmarried)
• Additional categories can be found at VA.gov
 

Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery  

 Agawam, MA 01001
     Phone:  413-821-9500
Winchendon, MA 01475
      Phone:  978-297-9501

    Eligibility

• 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
(a) "Home of Record at the time of entry into active service" on DD214 is Massachusetts. OR
(b) 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
(c) The veteran was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of his/her death.
Spouses (of the eligible veteran)
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.
Children (of the eligible veteran)
Deceased unmarried minor child, under 21 years of age, or 23 if pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution
There are additional requirements in all categories.  Contact the appropriate state cemetery for additional information.
 
 

Arlington National Cemetery

    
Arlington, Virginia
    Phone: 1-877-907-8585
 
            Must meet Eligibility requirements and apply for interment (at time of death). Interment may take weeks to months.

Other benefits or entitlements

            Contact the Central Office on specific benefits not listed or any questions you may have.