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State Benefits Chapter 115

Produced by Veterans Legal Clinic Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School
Created August 2018

What is the Chapter 115 Benefits Program?

The Chapter 115 Benefits Program is run by the Massachusetts Department Veterans’ Services (DVS). DVS runs the program in partnership with local Veterans’ Service Officers (VSOs).  The Program provides financial aid for food, shelter/housing, clothing, and medical care to veterans and their dependents who have limited incomes.

What is a VSO?

Every town or district in Massachusetts has a Veterans’ Service Officer (VSO). VSOs must assist veterans and their dependents in learning about, applying for, and getting Chapter 115 benefits. VSOs can also help you in applying, appealing, and getting VA compensation and pension and other benefits.

What types of Chapter 115 Benefits are available?

Cash Assistance

You can get a monthly cash payment. Whether you can get this cash payment depends on your living situation, special needs, and income. For example, if you are a single applicant living alone, you might be able to get between $1 and $1,436 each month. Use the Mass Vet Benefit Calculator to find out if you qualify.

Medical Expense Reimbursements

You can get money back  (in full or in part) to pay for some medical expenses, such as insurance premiums, co-pays, dental work, hearing aids, and eyeglasses.

Even if you have too much income to get cash assistance, you still might be able to get medical expense reimbursements.

Emergency Assistance

You might be able to get financial aid if you are behind on your mortgage, rent, or utility bills. You might be able to get financial aid for emergency home repairs or in cases of natural disasters.

Other State Veteran Benefits

DVS provides other benefits besides Chapter 115 benefits. These include Annuities, Bonuses, Burial Allowances, Moving Assistance, and Transportation to Medical Appointments. For more information and to learn if you might be eligible, seeWhat other state veteran benefits are available?

How does the Chapter 115 Benefits Program work?

Your local VSO handles applications, gets approval from DVS, and gives out benefits. The program is funded by a combination of state and local funds. DVS pays for 75% and your city or town pays for 25% of approved benefits.

Where can I find the rules that apply to Ch. 115?

The program was created by Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 115. Read the law online.

DVS has written rules for how the program should run in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) Section 108.  Read the regulations.

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