Veterans’ Laws and Benefits

Outreach, Counseling, and Trauma Resources

Outreach Centers

Outreach Centers are non-profit organizations that receive state money through DVS to assist veterans and their families with a range of services. These vary by location and can include:

  • Assistance and referrals to obtain federal and state veterans’ benefits
  • Food pantry and clothing closets
  • Transportation services
  • Community activities
  • Peer counseling
  • Professional counseling
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Anger management
  • Post-traumatic stress counseling

For Outreach Center services, veterans do NOT need to meet the state’s “veteran” definition under M.G.L. ch. 4, s. 7, cl. 43rd.

Contact Information

Cape and Islands Veteran Center, Inc.
247 Steven Street, SuiteE
Hyannis, MA 02601
Tel: 508-778-1590

North Shore Veterans' Counseling Services, Inc.
45 Broadway
Beverly, MA 01915
Tel: 978-921-4851

Boston Metro
No address or phone listed.

Pine Street Inn
444 Harrison Avenue
Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617-892-9100

Veterans' Association of Bristol County
755 Pine Street
Fall River, MA 02720
Tel: 508-679-9277

Montachusett Veterans' Outreach Center, Inc.
268 Central Street
Gardner, MA 01440
Tel: 978-632-9601

Veterans' Northeast Outreach Center, Inc.
10 Reed Street
Haverhill, MA 01832
Tel: 978-521-9668

Veterans' Outreach Center - Metrowest
40 Mechanic Street, Suite 101
Marlborough, MA 01752
Tel: 508-460-9993

Community Health Center of Cape Cod
107 Commercial Street
Mashpee, MA 02649
Tel: 508-477-7090

Soldier On
425 North Main Street
Northampton, MA 01053
Tel: 413-582-3059

Nathan Hale Foundation (transportation only)
763 State Road
Plymouth, MA 02360
Tel: 508-224-0100

Mason Square Veterans Association
143 Eastern Ave
Springfield, MA 01104
Tel: 413-731-0194

Bilingual Veterans Outreach Center
281 Franklin Street
Springfield, MA 01104
Tel: 413-731-0194

Veterans Inc.
69 Grove Street
Worcester, MA 01605
Tel: 508-791-1213

Vet Centers

Vet Centers welcome home the war veteran by providing readjustment services in a caring manner, and assisting them and their family members toward a successful post-war adjustment in or near their respective communities. Vet Center counselors provide bereavement counseling to parents, spouses, and children of armed forces personnel (including Reservists/National Guard members) who died in the service of their country. Vet Center services include individual readjustment counseling, referral for benefits assistance, group readjustment counseling, liaison with community agencies, marital and family counseling, substance abuse information and referral, job counseling and placement, sexual trauma and PTSD counseling, and community education.

All services are free-of-charge to eligible veterans, their families, and significant others. Vet Center staff protects the privacy of all clients. All records related to treatment are strictly confidential and will not be shared with the VA.

Boston Vet Center
5-11 Drydock Avenue, Suite 27
South Boston, MA 02210
Tel: 617-424-0665

Brockton Vet Center
1041 Pearl Street L
Brockton, MA 02301
Tel: 508-580-2730

Hyannis Vet Center
474 West Main Street
Barnstable, MA 02601
Tel: 508-778-0124

Lowell Vet Center
10 George Street
Lowell, MA 08151
Tel: 978-453-1151

New Bedford Vet Center
73 Huttleton Avenue
Fairhaven, MA 02719
Tel: 508-999-6920

Springfield Vet Center
95A Ashley Avenue, Suite A
West Springfield, MA 01089
Tel: 413-737-5167

Worcester Vet Center
255 Park Avenue, Suite 900
Worcester, MA 01609
Tel: 508-753-7902

SAVE Program

The Department of Veterans’ Services in collaboration with the Department of Public Health, has a Statewide Advocacy for Veterans’ Empowerment (SAVE) program that assists veterans in need of referral services and seeks to prevent suicide and advocate on behalf of Massachusetts’ veterans. SAVE acts as a liaison between veterans (and their families) and the various agencies within the federal and state government. SAVE Outreach Coordinators focus on community advocacy, suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and referrals as well as respond to the needs of veterans and their families. The SAVE team is staffed by veterans from the current conflict and family members of veterans. The SAVE team meets with veterans and their families out in the community, bringing the resources directly to the veteran.

Contact information

Department of Veterans’ Services
600 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02111
Tel: 617-210-5755
Toll-Free: 1-888-844-2838

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides service for veterans in crisis. Call Toll-Free: 1-800-273-8255 and press 1 to be connected immediately to VA suicide prevention and mental health service professionals.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychiatric disorder that can occur following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged. These symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair the person's daily life. PTSD is marked by clear biological changes as well as psychological symptoms. PTSD is complicated by the fact that it frequently occurs in conjunction with related disorders such as depression, substance abuse, problems of memory and cognition, and other problems of physical and mental health. The disorder is also associated with impairment of the person's ability to function in social or family life, including occupational instability, marital problems and divorces, family discord, and difficulties in parenting.

Contact information

National Center for PTSD
VA Boston Healthcare System
150 South Huntington Avenue (116B-2)
Boston, MA 02130
Tel: 857-364-4145
(or the Vet Centers listed above)

Military Sexual Trauma (MST)

A number of veterans, both women and men, may have experienced sexual trauma while they served on active military duty. The law defines sexual trauma as: sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape, and other acts of violence. It further defines sexual harassment as repeated unsolicited, verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature, which is threatening. Many veterans have never discussed the incident or their medical or psychological condition with anyone. Yet, these women and men know that they have “not felt the same” since the trauma occurred.

Note: Those veterans with a history of sexual trauma suffered while in the military MAY be eligible for VA treatment without charge for conditions related to that trauma, whether or not they are service-connected for that trauma.

For MST counseling, contact the nearest VA medical center, Vet Center, or the National Center for PTSD (see above for a complete listing).

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is an injury that occurs when damage is done to the brain from an external physical force. The head may be hit or may strike a stationary object or be shaken violently. This may occur in a car accident, serious fall or by an act of violence. Servicemembers may sustain a TBI from a blast injury or shockwave. These kinds of events may result in significant cognitive, behavioral, or social challenges.

Statewide Head Injury Program grant

The Statewide Head Injury Program (SHIP) of the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) provides services to individuals with TBI regardless of military discharge rating. SHIP received a $1 million competitive federal grant to strengthen services for individuals who have sustained a traumatic brain injury. The four-year grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration, builds on a 2006 grant to continue to improve systems of care to better serve veterans (and their families) of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who sustained a TBI. This effort will include piloting an integrated case management model in partnership with the Massachusetts National Guard and Reserve. 

Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services (BI&SSCS)

The Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services (BI&SSCS) is a department of the MRC. This program provides a range of community-based services to persons who have sustained a TBI, including: case management, social/recreational programs, skills training via regionally-based head injury centers, respite, residential services/programs, and family support services.

Eligibility criteria

In order to be determined eligible for BI&SSCS services, an individual must:

  • Be a Massachusetts resident
  • Have sustained a documented TBI
  • Exhibit impairments (physical, cognitive, and/or behavioral) primarily caused by a TBI
  • Be able to participate in community-based services

BI&SSCS also offers screening exams for TBI and neuropsychological assessment for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) veterans who have not been previously diagnosed with, or treated for TBI, for eligibility determination purposes.

Contact information

Brain Injury and Statewide Specialized Community Services, Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission
600 Washington Street, 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02111
Tel: 617-204-3600
Toll-Free: 1-800-245-6543