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"Now more than ever, we want to give generously to organizations which support our first responders and veterans," AG Coakley said. "Most charitable organizations are reputable and provide valuable resources, but there are a few charities which may not spend your donations well. We encourage all people to give, but give wisely."
"Massachusetts leads the nation in serving Veterans and military families due to the strong partnerships that exists between federal, state, and local governments, as well as the Commonwealth's diverse not-for-profit organizations. These dedicated and hard-working organizations are a cornerstone of our shared mission to ensure that Massachusetts Veterans and their families have access to a multitude of services, including housing and employment opportunities, clothing, health care, counseling and transportation," said Coleman Nee, Secretary, Department of Veterans Services. "Unfortunately, there have been reports of organizations using very emotional and patriotic issues to raise funds in misleading ways. To be safe, we always encourage the public to take care in making any donation and to report any concerns about a charitable solicitation to Attorney General Coakley's office."
Some tips and suggestions for savvy charitable giving include:
General Tips for Consumers:
•Check it out. When solicited for a donation, don't be afraid to verify the name, address, or phone number of the charity; to ask about how and where the charitable funds will be used; or to ask whether the donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution.•Ask questions. You have the right to find out where your contribution will go. You can ask how much will go to the charity, and how much goes to fundraising, administrative and general expenses.•Take your time. You should never feel pressured to give immediately; you can always take time to research the charity.•Think twice about making a contribution to a charity that has not registered with the Attorney General's Office or is not current on its filings. You can access this information on our website, or by calling 617-963-2315. Compliance or registration does not imply an endorsement by the office, but it does provide a mechanism by which the charity must account to the public for the receipt and use of its donations.•Do a quick check online with independent organizations such as www.charitynavigator.org, www.guidestar.org, or the Better Business Bureau's www.give.org, which provide information about how effective a charity is, what percentage of funds raised go to administrative expenses and fundraising, and whether complaints have been made about the charity.Tips for Giving to Veterans, Police, and Fire Organizations:
•With veterans, police, and fire organizations, remember that not all solicitors in uniform are necessarily veterans or first responders.•Ask whether the donation will be used in the local area, and ask for specific information on how donations will be used to help area veterans, police, or firefighters.Tips for Retailers:
•Protect your customers and do not allow a charity that has not registered with the Attorney General's Office, or is not current on its filings, to solicit donations on your property. You can easily access this information on our website, or by calling (617) 963-2315.•Do some quick research before authorizing a charity to solicit on your property. There are independent organizations which can provide retailers information about how effective a charity is, what percentage of funds raised go to administrative expenses and fundraising, and whether complaints have been made about the charity , such as www.charitynavigator.org, www.guidestar.org, or the Better Business Bureau's www.give.org.PDF Version of the Consumer Tips
Any consumer or retailer with concerns or complaints about a charity may file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office, or contact the Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division of the Attorney General's Office at (617) 963-2315.
Documents and information required to apply for Veterans Benefits and Aid
1. Military Discharge paper: Department of Defense form, DD214 or equivalent 2. Marriage*/Divorce Records and or Death Certificates 3. Children’s Birth certificates/Adoption Records are only needed when: a. Child less than 19 years of age b. Child less than 23 years old attending School of Higher Learning c. Handicapped dependent Adult Child living with veteran: Disabled before child’s 18th birthday. 4. Income verification; pay stubs, VA pension, SS, SSDI, SSI, SSP, retirement, strike benefits, workman’s compensation, unemployment or any other income. 5. Housing Receipts a. Rental Lease must be noted that unit is heated or unheated. b. Mortgage receipts (principle, interest, taxes and home owners insurance) 6. Life insurance; accounts number, amount, premium, beneficiary 7. Medical insurance; plan and account number, receipts for payment, Poof i.e. Medical Insurance card with bills. 8. List of all bills owed and monthly payments. This includes, but is not limited to, Heating, credit cards, car and student loans 9. Bank account or Direct Express card statements for last three (3) months this includes, 401K, Savings Bonds, money market accounts, Certificates of Deposit (CD), IRA, stock dividends and mutual funds.10. Vehicles registrations for all cars in household.11. If employable: Proof of Registration with Mass D.E.T. 12. If unable to work, medical documentation must be provided i.e. Doctor’s letter that clearly states reason for and the expected duration of incapacitation.
Note: * Married veterans must provide documents and information for their spouses as well as for themselves
Assets limits: Single person: $5,000 in “liquid assets” Married Couple: $9,800 in “liquid assets”
Income Guidelines for Chapter 115 Benefits: Incomes must be less than or equal to amounts shown:
Ordinary Benefits: $1,430-$1,750 (Single), or $1,673-$2,313 (Married) . Medical Only Benefit: $1,962 (Single), or $2,655 (Married)
Impacting factors include: age, if paying for heat, shelter and medical expenses.
If your veteran did not get a flag, please come by the Veterans Agent’s Office in the Memorial Building , Room B-7 and pick one up.
The CIS does not provide long term case management.
Authority to issue medal: Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 33, Section 67A
The application form can be found on line at this site: http://states.ng.mil/sites/MA/PDF/MOL_Application.pdf
Spouse and or dependent of a veteran benefits: Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, housing supplies, 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 they would were the veteran still living. http://www.mass.gov/veterans/benefits-and-services/family-benefits/state-benefits-for-dependents-of-a-veteran.html
Veterans must preregister with MWRTA before using the service. This is a one time registration and does not have to be repeated for each use. The application can be down loaded from the MWRTA website; http://www.mwrta.com/Images/EditorImages/File/Veterans_Application.pdf
The shuttle schedule is at http://mwrta.com/index.php/routes/commuter-shuttles/boston-hospital-shuttle
Questions: if you have any questions regarding the Boston Hospital Shuttle, please contact the MWRTA Call Center at 1-508-820-4650.
Riders must be ambulatory or require only a little assistance getting on or off of the van. Unfortunately, the van cannot accommodate wheelchair patients.
Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis and must be made a minimum of two weeks in advance. Because of high demand, DAV cannot accommodate appointments made less than two weeks in advance. To make or change a ride reservation, call 774-826-2264 between 8:00 AM and noon, Monday through Friday.EDITH NOURSE ROGERSMEMORIAL VETERANS HOSPITAL(781) 275-7500200 Springs Rd., DAV Off. Bldg. 4, Rm. B05 EXT. 2999Bedford, MA 01730JAMAICA PLAIN DIVISIONBOSTON VA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM (617) 232-9500150 S. Huntington Ave., Rm. D-127 EXT. 45040Boston, MA 02130 FAX (857) 364-4483BROCKTON DIVISIONBOSTON VA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM (774) 826-2264940 Belmont St., Bldg. 3, Rm. A-230 FAX (774) 826-2798Brockton, MA 02301WEST ROXBURY DIVISIONBOSTON VA HEALTHCARE SYSTEM (857) 203-56281400 VFW Parkway, G C 124West Roxbury, MA 02132 If it goes to voice mail please provide the following information and wait to be called back:NamePhone numberAddressTime and location of appointment
General Eligibility, FederalEligibility for most VA benefits is based upon discharge from active military service under other than dishonorable conditions. Active service means full-time service, other than active duty for training, as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or as a commissioned officer of the Public Health Service, Environmental Science Services Administration or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or its predecessor, the Coast and Geodetic Survey. Generally, men and women veterans with similar service may be entitled to the same VA benefits. Dishonorable and bad conduct discharges issued by general courts-martial may bar VA benefits. Veterans in prison and parolees must contact a VA regional office to determine eligibility. VA benefits will not be provided to any veteran or dependent wanted for an outstanding felony warrant. Certain Federal VA Benefits Require Wartime Service:World War II: Dec. 7, 1941, through Dec. 31, 1946.Korean War: June 27, 1950, through Jan. 31, 1955.Vietnam War: Aug. 5, 1964 (Feb. 28, 1961, for veterans who served “in country” before Aug. 5, 1964), through May 7, 1975.Gulf War: Aug. 2, 1990, through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.
General Eligibility, CommonwealthTo 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. See below for service requirements and exceptions. Era of Service Dates Requirement for Commonwealth Veteran StatusWWII 16-Sep-1940 to 25-Jul-1947 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.PEACETIME 26-Jul-1947 24-Jun-1950 180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.KOREA 25-Jun-1950 to 31-Jan-1955 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.VIETNAM I 1-Feb-1955 to 4-Aug-1964 180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.VIETNAM II 5-Aug-1964 to 7-May-1975 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.PEACETIME 8-May-1975 to 1-Aug-1990180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.Lebanon Campaign* 25-Aug-1982 to (to be determined later) 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.Grenada Campaign* 25-Oct-1983 to 15-Dec-1983 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.Panama Campaign* 20-Dec-1989 to 31-Jan-1990 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.PERSIAN GULF 2-Aug-1990 to (to be determined later) 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during "wartime" and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.
• For GUARD MEMBERS to qualify they must have 180 days and have been activated under Title 10 of the U.S. Code -OR- Members who were activated under Title 10 or Title 32 of the U.S. Code or Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 33, sections 38, 40, and 41 must have 90 days, at least one of which was during wartime, per the above chart.• For RESERVISTS to qualify, they must have been called to regular active duty, at which point their eligibility can be determined by the above chart.
Training Duty ExceptionActive duty service in the armed forces 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.