The commonwealth of Massachusetts provides several veteran benefits. This page explains those benefits.
Massachusetts Veteran Housing Benefits
Massachusetts maintains soldiers’ homes in Holyoke and Chelsea. Both offer residential and long-term care.
Homeless and Transitional Housing
Massachusetts provides funding to nonprofit organizations that provide housing to eligible veterans. Services include emergency homeless shelters, group residences, and single-room occupancy housing quarters. There are many locations throughout the state.
Massachusetts Veteran Financial Benefits
Military retired pay and Survivor Benefit Plan payments are tax-free.
Property Tax Exemptions
Disabled veterans may be eligible for a property tax exemption of $400 to $1,500.
To qualify, all veterans must:
- be at least 10% disabled according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- be legal residents of Massachusetts.
- be occupying the property as his/her domicile July 1 in the year of application.
- have lived in Massachusetts for at least six months prior to entering the service (spouses exempted); or
- have lived in Massachusetts for five consecutive years immediately prior to filing for a property tax exemption.
Spouses and surviving spouses may also be eligible.
Surviving spouses of veterans who died as a result of service may be eligible for a total tax exemption.
Motor Vehicle Excise Tax
Disabled veterans who have experienced the loss of, or permanent loss of the use of, one or both feet; or one or both hands; or the loss of sight in one eye; or who have permanent impairment of vision of both eyes; and are certified by the VA are eligible for motor vehicle excise exemption (applicable only to one motor vehicle owned and registered for personal, non-commercial use).
Motor Vehicle Sales Tax
Disabled veterans who have suffered the loss of, or permanent loss of the use of, both legs or both arms; or one leg and one arm; are eligible for a motor vehicle sales tax exemption (applicable only to one motor vehicle owned and registered for personal, non-commercial use).
Disabled Veteran Annuity
An annuity in the amount of $2,000, which is payable biannually on Aug. 1 and Feb. 1 in two installments of $1,000 each, is available for 100% disabled veterans and their spouses as well as Gold Star Parents and un-remarried spouses.
Welcome Home Bonus
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a bonus to veterans who lived in Massachusetts immediately prior to entry into the armed forces. In case of the death of a veteran, the spouse and children, mother or father, brother or sister or other dependents of the deceased veteran (in that order) are eligible for a bonus.
Compensation for Guard Members Killed While on Active Duty
If the death of a member of the Massachusetts National Guard results from injury, sickness or disease received while in the line of duty pursuant to orders under Titles 10 and 32 of the United States Code and the injury, sickness or disease resulting in the death was not the result of the decedent’s fault or neglect, a single payment of $100,000 shall be paid to the surviving spouse or other dependents.
Veteran Preference for State Employment
Massachusetts veterans are entitled to veterans’ preference in civil service exams. If you attain a score of 70% or higher, you are entitled to go to the top of the exam list, with disabled veterans having top priority. If you apply for a promotional exam, you get two points added to your score. If you apply for a civil service job for which there is no exam, you are entitled to veterans’ preference in a “provisional appointment.” If you apply for a position in the labor force, you are not required to take an exam, and you go to the top of the list.
Massachusetts Veteran Education Benefits
A tuition waiver is available for all Massachusetts veterans to attend any state-supported course in an undergraduate degree program offered by a public college or university.
Veterans will be eligible on a space-available basis for a waiver of full or partial tuition.
Tuition and Fee Waivers for Guard Members
The Massachusetts National Guard Education Assistance Program provides a 100% tuition and fee waiver for Massachusetts National Guard members attending a state college, university, or community college program.
Generally, these state-supported programs are offered during the day as part of a degree program.
Your assistance can continue as long as you are in good standing academically and until you have reached 130 semester hours.
Massachusetts Veteran Recreation Benefits
Resident Hunting/Fishing Licenses for Military Personnel
Active-duty, non-resident military personnel stationed in Massachusetts can get hunting and fishing licenses for the resident rate.
State Park Parking Fees
Day-use parking fees are waived for vehicles bearing a disabled veteran license plate from any state. This waiver does not apply to camping fees.
State Veterans’ Cemeteries
There are two state veterans cemeteries in Massachusetts (Agawam and Winchendon) where eligible veterans can be buried at no cost. There will be a nominal fee for the burial of spouses and eligible dependents.
Visit the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services website for more details on any of these programs.
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