Benefits for veterans in Massachusetts

Also in
Show Endnotes
Massachusetts Law Reform Institute

Massachusetts and the federal government have programs to help people who served in the military and their family members. You can also get help from some non-profits and private groups.

I am a low-income veteran, or a family member of a low-income veteran. Can I get any special veteran benefits?

You may be able to get cash assistance from the Chapter 115 benefits program in Massachusetts. Chapter 115 is run by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Veterans’ Services (EOVS). EOVS runs the program in partnership with local Veterans’ Service Officers (VSOs). 

Apply for Chapter 115 benefits at your local VSO. VSOs can help with applying for other kinds of help, too, like VA disability benefits. There is a VSO for every city or town in Massachusetts. Find your local VSO.  

Chapter 115 benefits are for veterans and their dependents who have limited incomes, usually less than 200% of the federal poverty level.

 Chapter 115 benefits help pay for

  • daily living expenses,
  • housing costs,
  • preventing homelessness, and
  • medical care.

You may be able to get medical expense reimbursements or emergency help with housing needs through  Chapter 115.

Learn more about Chapter 115 benefits from the Mass Vet Benefit Calculator Guide to Chapter 115 Benefits. You can also use the Calculator to estimate whether you can get Chapter 115 benefits.

I have a disability related to my service in the military. Can I get any special veterans' benefits?

You may be able to get VA disability benefits from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). You must have a disability that

  • started during your military service,
  • got worse during military service, or
  • happened later, but relates to your military service.

If you have a disability that is not related to your military service, you may be able to get a federal Veterans pension. You must be permanently and totally disabled and have a low income.

Massachusetts has small cash annuities if you are a disabled veteran.

What are some other benefits that I may be able to get as a veteran?

The Massachusetts Citizens Information Service has detailed information about  benefits for veterans, including:

Financial bonus

Massachusetts gives some combat or wartime veterans a financial bonus. Contact the Veterans Bonus Division of the Massachusetts Office of the Treasurer.

Money for education and training

The VA pays for approved education or training programs for some service members and veterans.

Life insurance

The VA offers life insurance benefits for service members and veterans.

Money for your home

Some veterans and active duty, National Guard, and reserve service members can get VA home loans. VA loans have good terms, like no down payments and no mortgage insurance costs. The VA also gives loans for building, repairing, and improving homes. MassHousing offers a $2,500 closing costs credit to some veterans and service members.

You may be eligible for a property tax exemption.

Habitat for Humanity has a program to help veterans with home repairs.

If you need to move, the State will cover some moving expenses for moves within Massachusetts. Sometimes they help you move out of state Contact your VSO.

If you are homeless you can get help. The VA has a housing assistance program. The New England Center and Home for Veterans may also help.

Burial Benefits

The federal government has burial and memorial services to honor most deceased veterans. This includes: 

  • Giving an inscribed headstone or marker at a cemetery.
  • Money to reimburse some burial and funeral costs. This is only for some veterans.
  • An American flag to drape the casket of a veteran.
  • Burial in a VA national cemetery.
Are there any special health benefits for veterans?

Federal benefits

The federal government has a number of health care services including:

  • Veterans Crisis Line: If you or a veteran you know is having an emotional crisis, call 1-800-273-8255. Push 1 to get help right away.
  • VA health care: Hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy, and prosthetic services,
  • Nursing home and community-based residential care,
  • Treatment related to Military Sexual Trauma (MST), and  Homeless Veteran programs,
  • Alcohol and drug dependency treatment,
  • Medical evaluation for disorders related to Gulf War service or environmental hazards,
  • Specialized health care for women,
  • Counselors who give individual, group, and family "Readjustment counseling"  to 
    • help with the transition to civilian life, 
    • treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and 
    • help with any other military related problems.

Massachusetts benefits

Chapter 115 benefits can include reimbursements for some medical expenses, including:

  • insurance premiums, 
  • co-pays, 
  • dental work, 
  • hearing aids, and eyeglasses. 

You may be able to get MassHealth.  

There are also transportation services to help you get to medical appointments.

Massachusetts also has two Veterans Homes in Chelsea and Holyoke that can provide long-term care. 

Are there any special benefits for my family?

Veterans' dependents and survivors can get:

  • Money paid monthly to a spouse, child or parent of a service member who died
    • during active military service, or 
    • from a service-connected disability, or
    • had a service-connected disability rated as totally disabling at the time of their death. See the VA website for more information on what you need to show to get this benefit.
  • Money to get a degree or other eligible education and training.
  • A pension paid monthly to your spouse and children if they have a low-income and you served during wartime.

The VA supports caregivers who care for veterans who are

  • seriously injured,
  • chronically ill,
  • disabled, or
  • getting older and no longer able to care for themselves adequately.

If you die because of a combat or war related injury, Massachusetts will give an annuity payment to some of your relatives.

Resource Boxes
More Resources
Benefits for veterans
Veterans - more info

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VA) runs the federal VA programs.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Veterans Services runs programs for the state of Massachusetts.

Mass Vet Benefit Calculator

National veterans service organizations have offices at the VA’s Boston Regional Office and can provide support to veterans, including with VA benefits claims.

Legal help for Massachusetts veterans


Was this page helpful?