November 22, 2019
Massachusetts is home to approximately 325,000 of the nation’s veterans, many of whom experience financial instability and struggle with poverty, despite state resources available.
The Massachusetts program known as Chapter 115, provides financial aid for food, housing, clothing and medical care to veterans and their dependents with limited incomes. However, statistics show that the benefits program is highly underutilized, and many veterans are unaware that the program even exists.
Chapter 115 assistance is available to low-income veterans who fall under 200% of the federal poverty level, along with other requirements. The Chapter 115 program also supports survivors and dependents of veterans.
In order to raise awareness of the program and help ensure veterans are utilizing the benefits available to them, the Veterans Legal Clinic at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School developed the Massachusetts Veteran Benefit Calculator to help veterans and their families determine their eligibility to receive financial assistance through Chapter 115. The website provides a step by step module on how to determine your eligibility, followed by action steps on using that information to file for Chapter 115.
Veterans and their dependents can visit the online calculator, answer simple questions, and receive an immediate estimate of their potential eligibility for Chapter 115 benefits.
If they are eligible, users can download a form with their answers to the tool’s screening questions and connect with their local VSO. In partnership with the state, the VSO will assist the veteran or dependent with their official application for Chapter 115 benefits and manage the process of accessing benefits should the applicant meet eligibility requirements.
To check if you or a family member are eligible for these benefits, click here.
The tool is designed to be easy to use without the need for a lawyer, but if you are in need of legal representation for this or another issue, you can call the Boston Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 617-742-0625, connect with an area lawyer online 24/7 by clicking “Get Started” here, or by submitting an email request online today.