Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, housing supplies, and medical care in accordance with a formula which takes into account the number of dependents and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased veterans are provided with the same benefits as they would were the veteran still living.

Eligible Dependents

The following categories of persons may qualify as dependents eligible to receive veterans' benefits.

  • Spouse of the veteran.
  • Widow or widower of the veteran.
  • Dependent parent of the veteran.
  • Any person who acted as a parent to the veteran for five years immediately preceding the commencement of the veteran's wartime service.
  • Child of the veteran until his or her 19th birthday.
  • Child of the veteran between 19 years and 23 years of age while the child is attending high school, an institution of higher learning or some other accredited educational institution provided that the applicant is in receipt of benefits under the provisions of M.G.L. c. 115.
  • Child of the veteran 19 years of age or older who is mentally or physically unable to support himself or herself and was affected by the disability prior to his or her 18th birthday.
  • Legally adopted children of the veteran.

To Establish Relationship as a Veteran's Dependent

  • Marriage certificate (for spouse or widow/widower of a veteran)
  • Birth certificate or adoption record with name of eligible veteran as parent (for child of a veteran)
  • Death certificate (for widow/widower of a veteran, child of deceased veteran)
  • Birth certificate of veteran with name of parent (for parent of a veteran)
  • Public record or statements from the veteran or other knowledgeable people, showing that the applicant stood in place of a parent to the veteran for five years immediately preceding the veteran's wartime service (for person in place of a parent to a veteran)

How to Apply

Applications for Chapter 115 Public Assistance benefits can be filed with the veteran's local Veterans' Service Officer (VSO) who works out of your city or town hall. To find your VSO:

  • Click here for a complete listing of Veterans' Service Officers in Massachusetts.
  • Call your local city/town hall and ask for Veterans' Services.
  • Or, call the Department of Veterans' Services, 617-210-5480 and ask for your VSO's name and contact information.