Your Department of Veterans' Services has been providing services and benefits to veterans and to the dependents of veterans since 1861.
From the date of that commitment by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that insured that no individual who served his of her state and nation with honor during periods of war or other conflicts, would ever be "pauperized" of forced to turn to public welfare for assistance. The Massachusetts Executive Office and the Massachusetts House and Senate have shown their continued concern for the welfare of the veteran and his or her dependents with the fullest support of one of the most comprehensive programs for veterans in the country, the Department of Veterans' Services and the local Department of Veterans' Services.
From that start in 1861, to that date in 1888, when the Soldiers' Relief Law was enacted, which gave cities and towns the right to support honorably discharged veterans, their spouses widows, and children, to that date in 1945, when the Office of Commissioner of Veterans' Services was created and to that date in 1946 when Chapter 115 (Veterans' Services') of the Massachusetts General Laws was reorganized to form the basis of today's benefits and services program. The veterans within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have not been forgotten.
With Chapter 599 Acts of 1946, mandating "municipal and district Departments of Veterans' Services, Veterans'Agents and Directors of Veterans' Services have become the first individuals that an ill, disabled, indigent, unemployed, or injured veteran has turned to for assistance.
We of the Massachusetts Veterans' Service Agents Association are committed today to assist our needy veterans and their dependents, with the same concern and compassion that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office and the Massachusetts House and Senate had when aid and assistance for our veterans was first created in the Commonwealth. From an early start many reforms and changes have been made to improve the delivery of services. Today, with the continued support of the Massachusetts Executive Office and the Massachusetts House and Senate, the Veterans' Agents and Directors of Veterans' Services throughout the Commonwealth are meeting the needs of our former service personnel.
Your Veterans' Bill of Rights
M.G.L., Chapter 115 and 108 CMR (Code of Massachusetts Regulations)
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 you 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
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)
Receive fair and equal treatment without regard to sex, race, religion, handicap, ethnicity or national origin. (M.G.L. c. 151B, s3)
Preference in public employment (M.G.L. c. 31, s.25 and c. 41, sl12)
For addition information on your rights, call your local Veterans' Department at (508) 366-3085, or call the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services at (617) 727-3578.