Veteran Services

The Department of Veterans' Services assists veterans in the community learn about, apply for, and in some cases, receive benefits by furnishing information, advice and assistance to veterans and their dependents enabling 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. Veterans Services also helps veterans and dependents apply for a range of other programs including VA, Social Security, and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits.

Veterans Bill of Rights

M.G.L. ch. 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 not eligible. 108 CMR 4:02 (1)
  • Receive assistance from your local veterans' agent in completing your application (M.G.L. ch. 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. ch. 40, s.51)
  • Receive fair and equal treatment without regard to sex, race, religion, handicap, ethnicity, or national origin (M.G.L. ch. 151B, s.3)
  • Preference in public employment (M.G.L. ch.31, s.12, 26, 28 and ch. 41, s.112.)


Housing and Relocation

Online Resource Link:


Wilfredo Melendez - Deputy Director

(413) 322-5630

Minerva Ramos - Administrative Assistant

(413) 322-5630

No posts found.

To be eligible for veterans’ benefits, one must be a “veteran” or a dependent of a “veteran” under M.G.L. c. 4, sec. 7, cl. 43rd as amended by the Acts of 2005, ch. 130.

 Veterans, dependents of Veterans, and survivors of Veterans of any of the following wars or campaigns may be eligible to receive benefits and/or services provided by Federal or State statues:


  • World War I April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918 90 days service of which one day was wartime

  • World War II September 16, 1940 – December 31, 1946 90 days service of which one day was wartime

  • Korean War June 25, 1950 – January 31, 1955 90 days service of which one day was wartime

  • Vietnam War, Part 1 February 1, 1954 – August 4, 1964 Served at least 180 days active duty

  • Vietnam War, Part 2 August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975 90 days service of which one day was wartime

  • Lebanon August 25, 1982 – Date to be determined 90 days service one day of which was wartime Campaign Medal required

  • Grenada October 25, 1983 – December 1983 90 days service one day of which was wartime Campaign Medal required

  • Panama December 20, 1989 – January 31, 1990 90 days service one day of which was wartime Campaign Medal required
  • Persian Gulf War August 2, 1990 – Date to be determined 90 days service one day of which was wartime


Not considered a Veteran:

  • Active service in the armed forces as used in this clause shall not include active duty for training in the army or air National Guard or active duty for training as a reservist in the armed forces of the United States.

Chapter four, section seven, clause forty-third M.G.L. 

Veteran Services agents assist veterans and their dependents in filing for all benefits to which they may be entitled including but not limited to:

  • Annuities
  • Burial Benefits
  • College Planning
  • VA Home Loans
  • Education
  • Pensions
  • Widow’s Death Pension
  • Survivor Benefits
  • Medical Reimbursements
  • Housing Assistance
  • State Bonuses
  • Career Direction
  • Military Record Retrieval
  • State & Federal Cemetery Applications
  • Disability Compensation
  • Property Tax Abatement Disabled Veterans

 In addition to filing claims, our agents assist veterans and their dependents by providing information and referral where needed to help navigate the complex federal government system. Assistance is also provided for shelter and subsistence for homeless veterans.

A summary of Veterans’ benefits are found in the following links:


There are many charity organizations which help Veterans.

These charitable organizations can provide advocacy, emergency assistance, grants, counseling, and other types of direct and indirect support. Below is a listing of some of the charities we recommend.


Veteran Charities ICA Certified        (Ind.Charities of America)

Angel Flight for Veterans

Blinded Veterans Association

Coalition to Support America’s Heroes*

Coming Home Project*

Fisher House Foundation (FHF)

Homes for Our Troops

Injured Marine SemperFi Fund

Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF)

MA Soldiers Legacy Fund *

Military Friends Foundation

Operation Homefront

VFW Foundation


*Not Certified by ICA

Project New Hope Link

Holyoke Soldier’s Memorial Commission Link






Friends of the Holyoke War Memorial Building Inc.

Mission Statement

Friends of the Holyoke War Memorial Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining, protecting and improving the War Memorial Building and all Veteran Memorials in the City of Holyoke. The Friends of the Holyoke War Memorial are committed to raising funds for this purpose by seeking gifts, bequests and grants that support mission-related programs and services.


Friends Link:




Department Head

Jesus Pereira


Office Address

310 Appleton Street Holyoke MA, 01040 Map

Contact Info


(413) 322-5630

(413) 534-2339 (fax)

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm

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Posted on December 27, 2012 by