Veterans’ Laws and Benefits

Other Sources of Assistance

Operation Enduring Freedom - Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans

Every U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) has a Returning Veteran Coordinator to assist those returning from service in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Bedford VAMC: 781-687-2000
Boston VAMC: 617-232-9500
Brockton VAMC: 508-583-4500
Jamaica Plain VAMC: 617-232-9500
Northampton VAMC: 413-584-4040
West Roxbury VMAC :617-323-7700

For more information on the VA’s programs for returning veterans, visit www.oefoif.va.gov.

The Department of Veterans’ Services has produced a publication with information about rights and benefits specifically for OEF/OIF veterans. The publication, entitled Welcome Home: Your Guide to Veterans’ Benefits and Rights can be accessed on the DVS website or you can call to request a copy.

Contact information:

Department of Veterans’ Services
600 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
617-210-5480
Fax: 617-210-5755
www.mass.gov/veterans
Email: mdvs@vet.state.ma.us

Canines for Combat Veterans

Canines for Combat Veterans is a project of New England Assistance Dog Services (NEADS) based in Princeton, MA. NEADS provides extensive training for service dogs to assist veterans with physical disabilities so that they can maintain their independence. NEADS dogs are granted public access rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

To be eligible to receive a dog, individuals must spend two weeks attending a training course with their dog and pay a fee. NEADS offers fundraising assistance and flexible payment options. It is NEADS’ policy not to deny any application on the basis of the applicant’s ability to pay.

Contact information:

NEADS, Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans
P.O. Box 213
West Boylston, MA 01583
978-422-9064 voice or TTY
www.neads.org

Agent Orange and Gulf War Helpline

VA and many other government departments and agencies have conducted research studies on the possible health effects of Agent Orange exposure on U.S. veterans. VA has recognized certain cancers and other health problems as associated with exposure to Agent Orange. The VA has a toll-free helpline for Vietnam veterans to answer their questions about Agent Orange exposure, healthcare, and benefits. The toll-free number: 800-749-8387 connects callers with a special Persian Gulf War helpline to inform veterans about medical care and benefits available to them. For more information call: Agent Orange and Gulf War Helpline Toll-Free: 1-800-749-8387 or visit the website www.va.gov/agentorange

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides a wide range of benefits to U.S. veterans and their families. It offers its benefit system through three major units: the Veterans Benefits Administration, the Veterans Healthcare System, and the National Cemetery Administration. Among the types of benefits that veterans receive through the VA are education and job training, disability compensation, pension payments, life insurance programs, a loan guarantee program, and hospital and medical care services. In addition to medical centers, the healthcare system includes nursing homes, domiciliary, and Vet Centers offering readjustment counseling.

Contact information:

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Boston Regional Office
JFK Federal Building, Room 1525
Boston, MA 02203
Toll-Free: 1-800-827-1000
www.va.gov

Toll-free numbers for contacting VA

VA Benefits Toll-Free: 1-800-827-1000
Education (GI Bill) Toll-Free: 1-888-442-4551
Gulf War/Agent Orange Helpline Toll-Free: 1-800-749-8387
Healthcare Benefits Toll-Free: 1-877-222-8387
Life Insurance Toll-Free: 1-800-669-8477
Status of Headstones and Markers Toll-Free: 1-800-697-6947
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TTY) Toll-Free: 1-800-829-4833

For health care services, contact your nearest VA medical facility

Bedford VA Medical Center: 781-687-2000
Brockton VA Medical Center: 508-583-4500
Jamaica Plain (Boston) VA Medical Center: 617-232-9500
Northampton VA Medical Center: 413-584-4040
West Roxbury (Boston) VA Medical Center: 617-323-7700

State park parking fee waiver

There is no charge for parking a vehicle with disabled veteran license plates at any state park. For more information contact:

Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway Street, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02114-2104
617-626-1250
www.mass.gov/dcr
Email: mass.parks@state.ma.us

Hanscom AFB Commissary

Active duty military personnel and retirees, members of the Reserve and National Guard, and their families can shop at the Hanscom AFB Commissary to buy quality grocery products at cost.

Store services:

  • ATM
  • Bakery (including party cakes and photo cakes)
  • Deli (including sandwiches to go)
  • Hot Foods Department
  • Plants

Contact information

Hanscom AFB Commissary
1709 Building A - Griffiss Street
Hanscom AFB, MA 01731-6290
781-377-4210
www.commissaries.com/stores/html/store.cfm

Veterans’ organizations

Veterans’ organizations provide assistance directly to veterans as well as advocate for legislative and policy issues important to veterans.

Organization

Telephone

Website

American Legion

617-727-2966

www.masslegion.org

American Legion National Service Office

617-303-5693

 

American Legion Auxiliary

617-727-2958

www.masslegion-aux.org

AMVETS

617-727-2972

www.amvets-ma.org

AMVETS National Service Office

617-565-5698

 

Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center

413-731-0194

www.bilingualvets.org

Disabled American Veterans (DAV)

617-727-2974

www.davma.org

DAV National Service Office

617-303-5675

 

Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.

617-497-8741

www.goldstarwives.org

Italian American War Veterans

781-397-6386

www.itamvets.org

Jewish War Veterans

617-727-2963

www.jwv.org

Korean Veterans of America

617-523-1441

 

Korean War Veterans

617-523-1441

 

Marine Corps League

617-720-0414

www.mcleague.org

Marine for Life

boston@m4l.usmc.mil

www.m4l.usmc.mil

Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH)

617-303-5696

www.purpleheart.org

MOPH National Service Office

617-303-5688

 

New England Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America

Toll-Free: 1-800-660-1181

www.nepva.org

OIF/OEF Veterans of Massachusetts

617-372-8200

www.oifoef.com

Persian Gulf Era Veterans

617-263-7438

 

Polish Legion of American Veterans

617-720-0414

www.plav.org

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

617-727-2612

www.vfwma.org

Vietnam Veterans of America

Toll-Free: 1-800-882-1316 or 617-303-5687

www.vva.org

 

Legal Assistance by Counties

If you need help with legal matters, contact one of the legal services below, which may offer sliding fee and pro bono services.

Legal Service

Contact

Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Office

617-338-0500

Massachusetts Bar Association, Western Mass Office

413-731-5134

Barnstable, Dukes, Nantucket County

Legal Services for Cape Cod and Islands (includes part of Plymouth County)

508-775-7020; Toll-Free: 800-742-4107 Senior citizens: 508-771-7458

Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire County

Massachusetts Justice Project, Holyoke Office

413-533-2660;
Toll-Free: 800-639-1209

Western Mass. Legal Services, Pittsfield Office

413-499-1950;
Toll-Free: 800-639-1509

Western Mass. Legal Services, Greenfield Office

413-584-4034

Bristol, Norfolk County

New Center for Legal Advocacy, New Bedford Office

508-979-7160;
Toll-Free: 800-244-9023

Southeastern Mass. Legal Services, Fall River Office

508-676-6265;
Toll-Free: 800-287-3777

Southeastern Mass. Legal Services, New Bedford Office

508-979-7150;
Toll-Free: 800-929-9721

Essex County

Merrimack Legal Services—Lawrence

978-687-1177

Hampden County

Massachusetts Justice Project, Holyoke Office

413-533-2660;
Toll-Free: 800-639-1209

Western Mass. Legal Services, Springfield Office

413-781-7814;
Toll-Free: 800-639-1109

Middlesex County

Community Legal Services and Counseling Center (Cambridge)

617-661-1010

Greater Boston Legal Services (Boston)

617-371-1234;
Toll-Free: 800-323-3205

Cambridge/Somerville Legal Services (Cambridge, surrounding towns)

617-494-1800

Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Mass. (Worcester County)

508-752-3718);
Toll-Free: 800-649-3718

South Middlesex Legal Services (Framingham, Marlboro, Dedham, surrounding towns)

508-620-1830;
Toll-Free: 800-696-1501

Tri-City Community Action Program Inc. (Malden, Medford, Everett, Melrose, Wakefield)

781-322-4125

Boston College Legal Assistance Bureau

781-893-4793

Merrimack Legal Services, Lowell Office

978-458-1465

Plymouth County

Southeastern Mass. Legal Services (Senior Law Project), Brockton Office

508-586-2110;
Toll-Free: 800-244-8393

New Center for Legal Advocacy, New Bedford Office

508-979-7160;
Toll-Free: 800-244-9023

Legal Services for Cape Cod and Islands (includes part of Plymouth County)

508-775-7020; Toll-Free: 800-742-4107 Senior Citizens: 508-771-7458

Greater Boston Legal Services

617-371-1234;
Toll-Free: 800-323-3205

Law Advocate Resource Center (LARC)

617-742-9179;
Toll-Free: 800-342-5297

Volunteers Lawyer Project (Boston)

617-423-0648

Suffolk County

Greater Boston Legal Services

617-371-1234;
Toll-Free: 800-323-3205

Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (Cambridge)

617-495-4408

Community Legal Services and Counseling Center

617-661-1010

Law Advocate Resource Center (LARC)

617-742-9179;
Toll-Free: 800-342-5297

Volunteers Lawyer Project (Boston)

617-423-0648

Worcester County

Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Mass.

508-752-3718);
Toll-Free: 800-649-3718

Western Mass. Legal Services, Northampton Office

413-584-4034;
Toll-Free: 800-639-1309

Massachusetts Justice Project, Worcester Office

508-831-9888;
toll free: 888-427-8989

Veterans’ Service Officers

Veterans’ Service Officers (VSOs) are appointed by the mayors in cities and by the board of selectmen in towns to administer Chapter 115 benefits to veterans. One person may serve as a VSO for two or more communities. VSOs process applications for emergency assistance benefits that are paid to veterans and/or their dependents for periods of time when they may not be able to support themselves. They also administer benefits for burial expenses of veterans and their dependents who die without sufficient means to pay for funeral expenses. For the most up-to-date listing of VSOs contact:

Department of Veterans’ Services
600 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
617-210-5480
www.mass.gov/veterans
Email: mdvs@vet.state.ma.us

The Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association (BBA), partnered with the Legal Advocacy & Resource Center, the Boston Bar Association, and Shelter Legal Services, has created a hotline to provide legal services to active duty members of the military, veterans of recent wars, and the families of both groups who live in Greater Boston. The Massachusetts Bar Association provides legal advice through a weekly Dial-a-Lawyer program for veterans living across the state.

Legal Assistance Hotline: 617-603-1710 to leave a message any time of day. Someone will call you back within two business days. This service is for military personnel and veterans who live in Greater Boston.

Monthly Dial-a-Lawyer Program: 617-338-0610 The first Wednesday each month between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The Dial-a-Lawyer operates a call-in line for assistance with legal questions. The phones tend to be extremely busy during that two hour time period.

Veterans’ agents listing by municipality

Municipalities (in parentheses) are where the office is actually located; capital letters indicate a city:

A

Abington 781-982-0056
Acton 978-929-6614
Acushnet 508-998-0207
Adams 413-743-8300
Agawam 413-786-0400, x8783
Alford 413-528-1580
Amesbury 978-388-8136
Amherst 413-259-3028/1-877-821-0128
Andover 978-623-8218
Aquinnah (Vineyard Haven) 508-693-6887
Arlington 781-316-3166
Ashburnham 978-630-4017
Ashby 978-597-1700, x 1729
Ashfield 413-863-3205
Ashland 508-429-0629
Athol 978-249-6935
ATTLEBORO 508-223-2222, x 3281
Auburn 508-832-7706
Avon 508-588-0414
Ayer 978-772-8212

B

Barnstable 508-778-8740/888-778-8701
Barre 978-355-5024, x126
Becket (Lee) 413-243-5519
Bedford 781-275-1328
Belchertown 413-323-0409
Bellingham 774-292-2437
Belmont 617-993-2725
Berkley (Dighton) 508-669-5027
Berlin 978-838-2442
Bernardston 413-863-3205
BEVERLY 978-921-6018
Billerica 978-671-0968
Blackstone 508-883-1500, x126
Blandford 413-527-6294
Bolton (Berlin) 978-838-2442
BOSTON 617-635-3026
Bourne (Barnstable) 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701
Boxborough 978-263-3059
Boxford (North Andover) 978-688-9525
Boylston 508-869-0143, x239
Braintree 781-794-8217, x 8217
Brewster 508-778-8740/888-778-8701
Bridgewater 508-697-0908
Brimfield (Monson) 413-267-4140
BROCKTON 508-580-7850
Brookfield 413-436-9615
Brookline 617-730-2112
Buckland (Montague) 413-863-3205
Burlington 781-270-1959

C

CAMBRIDGE 617-349-4761
Canton 781-821-5005
Carlisle 978-671-0969
Carver 508-866-3406
Charlemont 413-863-3205
Charlton 508-248-2244
Chatham 508-430-7515/1-888-778-8701
Chelmsford 978-250-5238
CHELSEA 617-466-4250
Cheshire 413-743-1690
Chester 1-877-821-0128
Chesterfield 1-877-821-0128
CHICOPEE 413-594-3470
Chilmark (Vineyard Haven) 508-693-6887
Clarksburg 413-663-8624
Clinton 978-365-4112
Cohasset 781-635-4407
Colrain (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Concord 978-318-3038
Conway (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Cummington 413-634-2293/1-877-821-0128

D

Dalton 413-684-6111, x19
Danvers 978-777-0001, x3030
Dartmouth 508-910-1818
Dedham 781-751-9265
Deerfield (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Dennis 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701
Dighton 508-669-5027
Douglas (Whitinsville) 508-234-9808
Dover 781-646-6545
Dracut 978-453-9492
Dudley 508-949-8010
Dunstable 978-649-4514, x224
Duxbury 781-934-5774, x108

E

East Bridgewater 508-378-1603
East Brookfield 508-867-8071
East Longmeadow 413-267-4140
Eastham 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701
Easthampton 413-529-1415
Easton 508-230-0551
Edgartown 508-693-6887
Egremont 413-528-1580
Erving 413-422-2800, x102
Essex 1-866-347-8838
EVERETT 617-394-2320

F

Fairhaven 508-979-4024
FALL RIVER 508-324-2436
Falmouth 508-495-7450
FITCHBURG 978-345-9566
Florida 413-662-2448
Foxborough 508-543-1204
Framingham 508-532-5515
Franklin 508-520-4973
Freetown 774-930-4392

G

GARDNER 978-630-4017
Georgetown 978-347-8838
Gill (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
GLOUCESTER 978-281-9740
Goshen 413-268-8236
Gosnold (Vineyard Haven) 508-693-6887
Grafton 508-839-5335, x1123
Granby 413-467-7177
Granville 413-786-0400, x237
Great Barrington 413-528-1580
Greenfield 413-772-1571
Groton 978-448-1175
Groveland (Haverhill) 978-374-2351

H

Hadley 413-584-5436/1-877-821-0128
Halifax 781-293-1724
Hamilton (Ipswich) 978-356-3915
Hampden (Monson) 413-267-4140
Hancock  413-738-5225
Hanover 781-826-5000, x1038
Hanson 781-293-2772, x106
Hardwick 413-477-6197, x119
Harvard 978-456-6848
Harwich 508-430-7515/1-888-778-8701
Hatfield 413-247-9200
HAVERHILL 978-374-2351, x32
Hawley (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Heath (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Hingham 781-741-1440
Hinsdale 413-655-8110
Holbrook 781-767-9051
Holden 508-210-5529
Holland (Monson) 413-267-4140
Holliston 508-429-0629
HOLYOKE 413-322-5630
Hopedale 508-473-8461
Hopkinton 508-429-0629
Hubbardston 978-874-7461
Hudson 978-568-9635
Hull 781-925-0305
Huntington 413-575-6391

I

Ipswich 978-356-3915

K

Kingston 781-585-0515

L

Lakeville 508-947-4254
Lancaster (Berlin) 978-365-3326, x1010
Lanesborough 413-443-5234
LAWRENCE 978-620-3282
Lee 413-243-5519
Leicester 508-892-7025
Lenox 413-637-5500, x4
LEOMINSTER 978-534-7538
Leverett (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Lexington 781-861-0194
Leyden (Greenfield) 413-772-1571
Lincoln 781-259-4472
Littleton 978-540-2485
Longmeadow 413-565-4150
LOWELL 978-674-4066
Ludlow 413-583-5600, x1290
Lunenburg 978-582-4176
LYNN 781-586-6911
Lynnfield 781-334-9440

M

MALDEN 781-397-7139
Manchester 978-526-2014
Mansfield 508-339-8151
Marblehead 781-631-0990
Marion 508-748-3520
MARLBOROUGH 508-460-3782
Marshfield 781-834-5576
Mashpee 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701
Mattapoisett 508-758-4100, x7
Maynard 978-897-0561
Medfield 508-906-9025
MEDFORD 781-393-2503
Medway 508-429-0629
MELROSE 781-979-4186
Mendon 508-473-8461
Merrimac 978-465-4418
Methuen 978-983-8585
Middleborough 508-946-2407
Middlefield 413-587-1299/1-877-821-0128
Middleton 978-762-0611
Milford 508-634-2311
Millbury508-865-4743
Millis 508-376-7059
Millville 508-735-6383
Milton 617-898-4939
Monroe (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Monson 413-267-4140
Montague 413-863-3205
Monterey 413-528-1580
Montgomery 413-862-8095
Mt. Washington (Great Barrington) 413-528-1580

N

Nahant 508-527-3758
Nantucket 508-325-5332
Natick 508-647-6545
Needham 781-489-7500
New Ashford 413-458-5671
NEW BEDFORD 508-991-6184
New Braintree 413-867-6314
New Marlborough (Gt. Barrington) 413-528-1580
New Salem 978-863-3205
Newbury 978-356-3915
NEWBURYPORT 978-465-4418
NEWTON 617-796-1090
Norfolk 508-528-7170
NORTH ADAMS 413-662-3040, x3241
North Andover 978-688-9525
North Attleborough 508-699-0120
North Brookfield 508-867-0205
North Reading 978-357-5211
NORTHAMPTON 413-587-1299/1-877-821-0128
Northborough 508-393-5024
Northbridge 508-234-9808
Northfield 413-863-3205
Norton 508-285-0218
Norwell 781-659-8004
Norwood 781-762-1240, x208

O

Oak Bluffs (Vineyard Haven) 508-693-6887
Oakham (Vineyard Haven) 508-693-6887
Orange (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Orleans (Hyannis) 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701
Otis (Gt. Barrington) 413-528-1580
Oxford 508-987-6034

P

Palmer 413-283-2610
Paxton 508-755-1477
PEABODY 978-538-5925
Pelham 413-246-4028/1-877-821-0128
Pembroke 781-709-1435
Pepperell 978-433-0342
Peru 413-665-2013
Petersham 978-249-6935
Phillipston (Winchendon) 978-249-6935
PITTSFIELD 413-499-9433
Plainfield (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Plainville 508-699-9119
Plymouth 508-747-1620, x172
Plympton 781-585-3220
Princeton (Worcester) 508-799-1041
Provincetown 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701

Q

QUINCY 617-376-1193

R

Randolph 781-961-0930
Raynham 508-828-4527
Reading 781-942-6652
Rehoboth 508-252-4467
REVERE 781-286-8119
Richmond 413-698-3355
Rochester (Mattapoisett) 508-758-4100, x212
Rockland 781-871-1874, x180
Rockport 978-546-6786
Rowe 413-863-3205
Rowley (Ipswich) 978-356-3915
Royalston (Winchendon) 978-297-0500
Russell (Westfield) 413-572-6247
Rutland 508-885-7500, x115

S

SALEM 978-745-0883
Salisbury 603-760-2265
Sandisfield 413-528-1580
Sandwich 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701
Saugus 781-231-4010
Savoy 413-743-4290
Scituate 781-545-8715
Seekonk 508-336-1481
Sharon 781-784-1504, x204
Sheffield (Gt. Barrington) 413-528-1580
Shelburne 413-863-3205
Sherborn 508-655-1045
Shirley 978-425-2600, x8
Shrewsbury 508-841-8386
Shutesbury 413-863-3205
Somerset 508-646-2827
SOMERVILLE 617-625-6600, x4700
South Hadley 413-538-5015
Southampton 413-572-6247
Southborough 508-229-2172
Southbridge 508-764-5436
Southwick 413-786-0400
Spencer 508-885-7500, x115
SPRINGFIELD 413-736-3111
Sterling 978-333-6239
Stockbridge 413-528-1580
Stoneham 781-279-2664
Stoughton 781-341-1300, x9220
Stow 978-290-0278
Sturbridge 508-347-2044
Sudbury 978-639-3357
Sunderland 413-863-3205
Sutton 508-234-9808
Swampscott 781-596-8853
Swansea 508-673-9814

T

TAUNTON 508-821-1038
Templeton 978-894-6971
Tewksbury 978-640-4485
Tisbury 508-693-6887
Tolland 413-786-0400, x237
Topsfield 978-887-1500
Townsend 978-597-1700, x1729
Truro 508-430-7515/1-888-778-8701
Tyngsborough 978-649-2300, x131
Tyringham 413-528-1580

U

Upton 508-529-6723
Uxbridge (Whitinsville) 508-234-9808

W

Wakefield (Saugus) 781-231-4010
Wales (Monson) 413-267-4140
Walpole 508-660-7325
WALTHAM 781-314-3415
Ware 413-967-9648, x182
Wareham (Hyannis) 508-778-8740
Warren 413-436-5701, x103
Warwick (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Washington 413-623-5643
Watertown 617-972-6416
Wayland 508-358-3787
Webster 508-949-3855
Wellesley 781-431-1019, x2209
Wellfleet 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701
Wendell (Greenfield) 413-772-1571
Wenham 978-468-5520, x2
West Boylston 774-261-4025
West Bridgewater 508-894-1200
West Brookfield 508-344-5592
West Newbury (Ipswich) (978-356-3915
West Springfield 413-263-3019
West Stockbridge 413-528-1580
West Tisbury 508-693-6887
Westborough 508-366-3085
WESTFIELD 413-572-6247
Westford 978-392-1170
Westhampton 413-207-3541
Westminster 978-874-7461
Weston 781-786-6280
Westport 508-636-1028
Westwood 617-320-1008
Weymouth 617-340-2405
Whately (Turners Falls) 413-863-3205
Whitman 781-618-9750
Wilbraham 413-596-8379
Williamsburg 413-587-1299
Williamstown 413-458-4106
Wilmington 978-694-2040
Winchendon 978-297-0500
Winchester 781-721-7118
Windsor (Dalton) 413-684-6111, x19
Winthrop 617-846-3065
WOBURN 781-897-5825
WORCESTER 508-799-1041
Worthington 413-587-1299/1-877-821-0128
Wrentham 508-384-8233/8333

Y

Yarmouth (Hyannis) 508-778-8740/1-888-778-8701