MASSACHUSETTS COMMONWEALTH VETERAN BENEFITS
We endeavor to keep this information current, but it is subject to change without notice.
MASSACHUSETTS VETERAN EDUCATION BENEFITS
Massachusetts provides their resident veterans with a tuition waiver as an undergrad at any degree program taught at one of their state colleges or universities. Waiver may cover all tuition and fees or a partial amount and applies only when space is available in a given program.
The State also has an education assistance program for its National Guard members who qualify. They pay 100% tuition and fees for National Guard service members to attend any state-funded college program. Some educational requirements apply.
VETERAN EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
The Massachusetts Commonwealth has a veteran preference system than seems to run a little differently. Like most states, points are given to qualifying veterans to award them job preference in civil service exams. If you score 70% on the exam, you go to the top of the exam list. Disabled veterans receiving the highest hiring priority. Once you are hired in the civil service system, you continue to get preference during the promotion process if you take a promotional exam. If there isn’t an exam for a certain civil service position, veterans still get preference through a ‘provisional appointment.’
MASSACHUSETTS VETERAN FINANCIAL BENEFITS
The Bay State does not tax military retirement pay.
Property Tax Exemptions
Massachusetts makes available a $400 to $1,500 property tax discount for qualifying veterans with a disability, and their spouses (or surviving spouses)
To be eligible, veterans will:
- Use the property as their main residence as of July 1 of the application year
- Have been rated by the VA has having a 10% or more service-connected disability
- Be a resident of Massachusetts either for six month or more before entering military service OR
- Be a resident of Massachusetts for five years consecutively when filing for the tax discount
Spouses do not need to meet the residency requirement. Surviving spouses of veterans who died in the line of duty or from a service-related condition could qualify to pay no property tax.
Motor Vehicle Tax
Some disabled veterans who been certified by the VA qualify for a vehicle tax exemption on one personal vehicle. These disabled service men and women have lost the use of one or both feet, or one or both hands, lost sight in one eye or have permanent vision impairment in both eyes. The personal vehicle must be owned by the veteran and not be used for commercial purposes.
Sales Tax Exemption
As with the motor vehicle tax exemption, some veterans who lost vision permanently, lost the use of two limbs (either both arms, both legs, or one arm and one leg) may receive a sales tax exemption for their personal, non-commercial vehicle. Sales tax exclusion extends to one vehicle only.
Disabled Veteran Annuity
Veterans who are 100% disabled and their spouses, as well as their Gold Star parents may collect a $2,000 annuity from Massachusetts. This annuity comes in two installments of $1,000, payable on February 1st and August 1st.
Welcome Home Bonus
Resident veterans who entered the military from Massachusetts may be eligible to receive a ‘Welcome Home’ bonus upon their return. If the veteran dies, the bonus goes to the spouse, their children, mother or father, siblings or other dependents of the qualifying deceased veteran.
MASSACHUSETTS VETERAN RECREATION BENEFITS
Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Active duty military personnel stationed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are treated as residents when applying for sportsman hunting and fishing licenses. They pay as if they are residents, instead of paying non-resident fees.
State Park Parking Fees
If you qualify for a disabled license plate from any state, you’ll have your day use parking fees waived when driving your vehicle bearing these plates. Fee waiver affects day use areas only; camping fees still apply.
MASSACHUSETTS VETERAN HOUSING BENEFITS
Homeless and Transitional Housing
Massachusetts help homeless and impoverished veterans throughout the state by supporting non-profit organizations tasked with serving eligible veterans. Assistance comes in the form of group residences, emergency shelters, and programs providing single-room occupancy.
Massachusetts maintains soldiers’ homes providing both long-term nursing and residential care in Holyoke and Chelsea. Both offer residential and long-term care. Admissions to either the Chelsea or Holyoke facility is on a case-by-case basis, depending on the needs of the veteran and the available resources.
MASSACHUSETTS VETERANS' CEMETERIES
Veterans’ cemeteries in Agawam and Winchendon will lay to rest eligible veterans at no charge. Spouses and eligible dependents may also be interred there for a small fee.
You can find more information regarding these benefits and other programs at the Massachusetts Department of Veterans Services website.