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. VSOs work out of City or Town Halls and are knowledgeable about an array of federal, state, and local benefits to which Veterans and dependents may be entitled. His or her job is to help Veterans in the community learn about, apply for, and in some cases, receive benefits. Every VSO is a Veteran.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers a need-based program of financial and medical assistance for Veterans and their dependents known as M.G.L. Chapter 115 (Chapter 115). Qualifying Veterans
and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, fuel, 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 if the Veteran were still living.
Every city and town has a VSO who administers this program for those with a discharge under honorable conditions. Applications are available from the VSO in the community where the veteran resides. The VSO can help veterans complete their application for Chapter 115 benefits.