Veterans Services

Memorial Day 2017

The City of Springfield Memorial Day Commemorative Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 26, 2017.  The Department of Veterans' Services invites you and your family to participate in our Memorial Day Ceremony. The ceremony will take place at 12:00PM at 36 Court Street in front of City Hall.

The Springfield Veterans' Services Department would like to request your assistance in the flagging of the graves in observance of Memorial Day.  We continue to uphold the spirit that no veteran is forgotten for their service during this holiday.  Flagging is scheduled for the Springfield cemeteries the week prior to the holiday.  If you are able to help, please call (413) 787-6141.

Our Primary Duty

The City of Springfield Department of Veterans' Services’ primary duty is to furnish information, advice and assistance to veterans and their dependents as may be necessary to enable them to procure the benefits to which they are or may be entitled relative to employment, vocational, or other educational opportunities, hospitalization, medical care, pensions and other veteran benefits.

Office Hours: Monday – Friday
9:00AM to 4:00PM

Springfield Department of Veterans Services
City of Springfield
36 Court Street
Room 101

Springfield, MA 01103
Fax: 413-787-6143

Veterans’ Bill of Rights
Veterans, you have a right to:

File a written application for veterans' benefits at any time. You can insist upon this right, even if told that you are ineligible. [108 CMR 4:02 (1)]

Receive assistance from your local veterans' agent in completing your application. [(M.G.L. c. 115, s. 3)]

Receive a full explanation of the services and benefits available under M.G.L., Ch.115, as well as other available benefits.

Receive a written notice and explanation of the approval or denial of your application for benefits. [108 CMR 8:02 (1)]

Be treated with dignity and respect and to receive accurate, courteous and timely service.

Appeal and request a hearing if you disagree with any action taken in your case. [108 CMR 8:07(1)]

Expect confidentiality; personal information will not be collected or used except for the purpose of determining your eligibility for benefits. [(M.G.L. c. 40. s.51)]

Public Assistance: Chapter 115 Benefits

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 dependants and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased veterans are provided with the same benefits as they would were the veteran still living.

About the Department

The Veterans' Service Department counsels and advocates for Veterans and their families. They serve every citizen by providing information and direction concerning:

State Benefits

Annuity: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides an annuity in the amount of $2,000 to 100% service-connected disabled veterans and to the parents of men and women who die in service (Gold Star parents) and the un-remarried spouses (Gold, Star wives or husbands) of veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country during wartime.

Bonuses: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides a one-time bonus to eligible veterans who served during wartime, from World War II through Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. For the Persian Gulf War Bonus call 617-210-5927. For all other bonuses, contact the Office of the State Treasurer 617-367-3900, ext. 543, or for OEF/OIF ext. 539.

Cemeteries: There are three veterans' cemeteries in Massachusetts. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs operates the national cemetery in Bourne, on Cape Cod (508-563-7113). The state operates cemeteries in Agawam (413-821-9500) and Winchendon (978-297-9501). Eligible veterans can be buried in state and federal cemeteries for free and spouses for a nominal fee.

Chapter 115 Benefits: Chapter 115 provides a needs-based means tested 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.

Education Benefits: Veterans are eligible for tuition waivers at all state colleges and universities. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard receive a tuition and fee waiver at all state schools. Contact the Veterans' Representative at the state college/university of your choice for eligibility requirements and to apply.

Employment: Veterans are given preference for employ­ment on the eligibility list for civil service positions. Job search and assistance is also available for veterans at 32 One-Stop Career Centers across the state.

Housing Services: DVS contracts with a range of non-profit organizations, which provide housing services to eligible veterans. All require that residents maintain a sober and drug-free environment. Services are available to both male and female veterans.

Motor Vehicle Benefits: Certain disabled veterans and former POWs are eligible for motor vehicle sales and excise tax exemptions. Contact the Department of Rev­enue at 617-887-6367. The Registry of Motor Vehicles provides a variety of veterans' license plates and a reg­istration exemption for certain veterans.

Outreach Centers: Outreach Centers are non-profit or­ganizations that contract through DVS to assist veterans and their families with a range of services. Services vary by location and can include: assistance and referrals to obtain federal and state veterans' benefits, counsel­ing services, food pantry and clothing closets, trans­portation services, and community activities.

Property Tax: There are a number of exemptions available to certain disabled veterans and their sur­vivors. Contact your local Veterans' Service Officer or city/town Assessor.

SAVE Program: SAVE is a peer outreach program that helps veterans navigate the system of benefits and services through active outreach in the community. SAVE's mission is suicide prevention and advocacy of veterans benefits and services. Outreach coordinators are mobile and meet with veterans in the field. The outreach team is comprised of veterans and family members of veterans. Call SAVE at 888-844-2838 or email save@massmail.state.ma.us.

Soldiers' Homes: The Soldiers' Homes in Chelsea (617-884-5660) and Holyoke (413-532-9475) provide a variety of services to veterans, such as: acute hos­pital, domiciliary, and long-term care, physical and occupational therapy and more.

Women Veterans' Network: The mission of the Women Veterans' Network is to provide women with information on benefits, expand awareness of the needs of women veterans, and identify available health and human resources to meet those needs. Call 617-210-5781.

Housing Services

1. Homeless
2. Emergency shelters
3. Transitional housing
4. Permanent housing
5. Veterans and their families are given preference for public housing through their local housing authority

Veterans and their families should apply for Chapter 115 Benefits before going to any other agencies.

The Springfield Department of Veterans Services Should Be Your First Point of Contact

The Springfield Department of Veterans Services can provide information about:

Annuities • Awards and Medals • Burial • Chapter 115 benefits • Education • Elder Services• Employment • Flags and Markers • Financial Assistance • Food • Graves Care • Housing • License Plates • Medical Assistance • Pensions • Pharmaceuticals • Real Estate Tax Exemption • Review of Discharge • Sales Tax Exemptions

The staff consists of:

Director of the Department of Veterans Services
Thomas M. Belton

Deputy Director of the Department of Veterans Services
Charly N. Lawrence

Valarie D. Andrews

Israel Rivera

Paul E. Seifert

Administrative Assistant
Denise A. Moore

Page last updated:  Thursday, November 09, 2017 11:30 am