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VETERAN SERVICES FAQS

These are some of the frequently asked questions Veteran Services receives. Please contact us for answers to your questions if they are not answered below and we will do our best to provide timely and relevant answers for you.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VETERANS DAY AND MEMORIAL DAY?

Both holidays were established to recognize and honor the men and women who have worn the uniform of
the United States Armed Forces. Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday in May, was originally set
aside as a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country,
particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

While those who died are also remembered on Veterans Day, which is observed on November 11, Veterans
Day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In
fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living Veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their
contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not
only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.

To ensure the sacrifices of America’s fallen heroes are never forgotten, in December 2000, the U.S. Congress
passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” P.L. 106-579, creating the
White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The commission’s charter is to “encourage
the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom
and opportunity” by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United States of Memorial Day and the
National Moment of Remembrance.

The National Moment of Remembrance encourages all Americans to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local
time on Memorial Day for a two minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the
nation.

On October 7, 2016, President Obama signed the Veterans Day Moment of Silence Act. The new law
requires that the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe a two-minute
national moment of silence on Veterans Day at 3:11 p.m. Atlantic standard time, 2:11 p.m. eastern standard time,
1:11 p.m. central standard time, 12:11 p.m. mountain standard time, 11:11 a.m. Pacific standard time, 10:11 a.m.
Alaska standard time, and 9:11 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian standard time.

There are a variety of ways to apply for VA Health Care.

You can:

  1. Apply online at VA.gov
  2. Apply in person. Here is a list of local VA facilities on the North Shore, or you can search for VA locations here.
  3. Apply by phone. Call 1-877-222-8387 M-F, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST
  4. Apply by mail. Print and fill out VA Form 10-10EZ. Then mail it to:

Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Rd, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329-1647

    You may use ANY of the following to request assistance:

    • Ask VA to help you fill out the form by calling us at 1-877-222-VETS (8387).
    • Access the VA website at http://www.va.gov and select “Contact Us” at the top right.
    • Contact the Enrollment Coordinator at your local VA health care facility. (See above list of local VA facilities)
    • Contact a National or State Veterans Service Organization, including your local VSO from your Massachusetts City or Town.


    I WANT TO…

    Return to the Veteran Health Care Options Page

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    VA HEALTH SYSTEM LOCATIONS ON THE
    NORTH SHORE/NORTH-EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS

    Medical Centers

    Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans’ Hospital 

    200 Springs Road
    Bedford, MA 01730
    781-687-2000 | 800-838-6331

    VA Boston Healthcare System

    • Brockton Division
      940 Belmont Street
      Brockton, MA 02301
      508-583-4500 (800-865-3384)
    • Jamaica Plain Division
      150 S. Huntington Avenue
      Boston, MA 02130
      617-232-9500  (800-865-3384)
    • West Roxbury Division
      1400 VFW Parkway
      West Roxbury, MA 02132
      617-323-7700 (800-865-3384)

    Community-Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs)

    • Gloucester
      Located within Addison Gilbert Hospital
      298 Washington Street, Gloucester
      (800) VET-MED1
    • Haverhill
      108 Merrimack Street, Haverhill
      (800) VET-MED1
    • Lowell
      130 Marshall Road, Lowell
      (800) VET-MED1
    • Lynn, see North Shore
      North Shore
      225 Boston Street, Suite 107, Lynn
      (800) VET-MED1

    Vet Centers

    • Lowell Vet Center
      10 George Street
      Lowell, MA 08152
      (978) 453-1151

    I WANT TO…

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    Definitions of Massachusetts Veterans

    M.G.L. ch.4, s.7, clause 43 (Massachusetts General Law Chapter 4, Section 7, Clause 43)

    To be a “veteran” under Massachusetts law a person is required to have either:

    • 180 days of active duty service and be discharged or released under honorable conditions – OR –
    • 90 days of active duty service, one day of which is during “wartime” per the chart which follows, and be discharged or released under honorable conditions, except for Vietnam I, which requires 180 days of active duty service (see chart below).

    Guard Members

    For Guard Members to qualify they must have either:

    • 180 days and have been activated under Title 10 of the U.S. Code and have been discharged or released under honorable conditions or;
    • Members who were activated under Title 10 or Title 32 of the U.S. Code or Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 33, section 38, 40, and 41 must have served 90 days, at least one of which was during wartime, per the chart located on page 3. The members’ last discharge or release must be under honorable conditions.

    Reservists

    For Reservists to qualify, they must have been called to regular active duty, at which point their eligibility can be determined by the chart below.

    Minimum service exception (for death or disability)

    It is not necessary that an applicant has completed the minimum service for wartime or peacetime campaign if s/he served some time in the campaign and was awarded the Purple Heart, or suffered a service-connected disability per the discharge certificate, or died in the service under honorable conditions.

    Training duty exception

    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.

    Merchant Marine

    Any Merchant Marine who served for a period of 90 days in armed conflict between December 7, 1941, and December 31, 1946, and who received an honorable discharge from the Army, Navy, or Coast Guard of the United States.

    Eligible dependents

    The following categories of persons may qualify as dependents eligible to receive veterans’ benefits:

    • Spouse of the veteran;
    • Widow or widower of the veteran;
    • Dependent parent of the veteran;
    • Any person who acted as a parent to the veteran for five years immediately preceding the commencement of the veteran’s wartime service;
    • Child of the veteran until his or her 19th birthday;
    • Child of the veteran between 19 years and 24 years of age while the child is attending high school, an institution of higher learning or some other accredited educational institution;
    • Child of the veteran 19 years of age or older who is mentally or physically unable to support him/herself and was affected by the disability prior to his/her 18th birthday;
    • Legally adopted children of the veteran.

    Who is not eligible?

    None of the following shall be deemed to be a veteran:

    • Any person, who at the time of entering into the armed forces of the United States, had as his/her intention to become a subject or citizen of the United States and withdrew his/her intention under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918;
    • Any person who was discharged from said armed forces on his/her own application or solicitation by reason of his/her being an enemy alien;
    • Any person who has been proven guilty of willful desertion;
    • Any person whose only service in the armed forces of the United States consists of his/her service as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary or as a temporary member of the Coast Guard Reserve, or both;
    • Any person whose last discharge or release from the armed forces is dishonorable or other than honorable.
    ERA of Service DATES Requirement for Veteran Status WWI 6-Apr-1917 11-Nov-1918 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during “wartime” and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions. PEACETIME 12-Nov-1918 15-Sep-1940 180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions. WWII (Merchant Marine: 7-Dec-1941 through 31-Dec-1946) 16-Sep-1940 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 31-Jan-1955 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during “wartime” and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions. Korean Defense Service Medal 28-Jul-1954 (to be determined later) 90 days of active duty service, last discharge under honorable conditions and the Korean Defense Service Medal VIETNAM I 1-Feb-1955 4-Aug-1964 180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions. VIETNAM II 5-Aug-1964 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 1-Aug-1990 180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions. Lebanon Campaign * 25-Aug-1982 (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 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 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 be determined later) 90 days of active duty service, one (1) day during “wartime” and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions.* Naval and Marine DD Form 214 must indicate Expeditionary Medal. All DD Form 214’s must specify campaign: Lebanon, Granada, or Panama.

    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.

    Minimum Service Exception (for Death or Disability): It is not necessary that an applicant have completed the minimum service for wartime or peacetime campaign if s/he served some time in the campaign and was awarded the Purple Heart, or suffered a service-connected disability per the Discharge Certificate, or died in the service under honorable conditions.

    Training Duty Exception: Active 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.

    From the Office of William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


    Return to Danvers Veterans Services Page

    Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

    (This information was obtained and modified from the VA.gov DIC page.)

    Eligibility (Surviving Spouse)

    To qualify for DIC, a surviving spouse must meet the requirements below.

    • The surviving spouse was one of the following:
        • Married to a Service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
        • Validly married the Veteran before January 1, 1957, OR
        • Married the Veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the Veteran’s death began or was aggravated, OR
        • Was married to the Veteran for at least one year, OR
        • Had a child with the Veteran.

      AND 

    • The surviving spouse also must meet both of the following:
      • Cohabited with the Veteran continuously until the Veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, AND
      • Is not currently remarried*
    *Note: A surviving spouse who remarries on or after December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.

    Eligibility (Surviving Child)

    To qualify for DIC, a surviving child must meet all of the following criteria:

    • Not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC, AND
    • Unmarried, AND
    • Under age 18, or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.

    Note: A child adopted out of the Veteran’s family may be eligible for DIC if all other eligibility criteria are met.

    Required Documentation

    Listed below are the evidence requirements for this benefit:

    • The Service member died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, OR
    • The Veteran died from an injury or disease deemed to be related to military service, OR
    • The Veteran died from a non-service-related injury or disease, but was receiving, OR was entitled to receive, VA Compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling:
      • For at least 10 years immediately before death, OR
      • Since the Veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death, OR
      • For at least one year before death if the Veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999

    How to Apply

    For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit the How to Apply page on the VA.gov site.


    Return to the Danvers Veterans Services Page

    The Veterans Administration operates over 100 National Cemeteries around the country, and provides no cost burial for eligible persons. Burial benefits available include a grave site in any cemetery with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances.

    Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains. Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the veteran, perpetual care, with the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death inscribed on the veteran’s headstone. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the veteran.

    Burial Benefits

    Massachusetts Veterans Cemeteries

    Veteran Cemeteries by State

    What’s Needed to Request a Veteran Headstone

    The Town may lower the flag in Danvers Square in memory of the passing of a veteran.  To request the flag to be lowered please contact Peter Mirandi, Director of Veterans’ Affairs.

    The Town lowers the Town Hall flag upon a state or federal order to honor the life, service, and contributions of a deceased person or persons.

    For more information, click on the following links:

    Flag Status or Flag Protocol in Massachusetts

    Guidelines for Display of the Flag

    How to Display the American Flag

     

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