Q: What are Veterans’ Services?
A: There are both benefits and services provided to veterans. Benefits relate to food, clothing, shelter and medical care for veterans of all wars and their dependents. Services relate to processing claims for veterans and their dependents. These include compensation, V.A. pensions (service and non-service connected) rehabilitation, counseling relative to employment, Social Security, Supplementary Security Income and a variety of other areas. The department has recently been successful in helping to get the burial allowance increased for those veterans who have died without funds so that they might be afforded a dignified burial.
Q: Who is eligible for benefits?
A: Veterans, dependents of Veterans, and survivors of Veterans may be eligible to receive benefits and/or services provided by Federal or State statutes. Contact the Veterans’ Services Department at (413) 499-9433 for more information.
Q: How are eligible dependents defined?
A: Eligible dependents are defined as the following:
1) Spouse of the veteran
2) Widow/Widower of the deceased veteran
3) Parent of veteran
4) Child of veteran through 17 years of age
5) Child of a veteran between 18 years of age and 23 years of age while the child is attending high school or an institute
of higher learning
6) Child of veteran over 18 years of age who is mentally or physically unable to support himself or herself and was
affected by the disability prior to his or her 18th birthday
Q: Where does the money come from for Veterans’ Services?
A: Both the City and State share in the funding of this program. Each year Pittsfield budgets several thousand dollars for veterans’ benefits and is reimbursed 75% of the cost of this aid by the Commonwealth.
Q: What is the difference between Veterans’ Services and Veterans’ Affairs (VA)?
A: The Veterans’ Services Department administers benefits for Pittsfield veterans, which are separate and distinct from those provided by the Veterans’ Affairs (VA), a program of the Federal Government. The City's Veterans’ Services Department works closely with the VA in searching out any additional aid available to the veteran.
Q: Who may apply?
A: Any person with proof that he or she is a veteran or a dependent of a veteran is entitled to file an application.
Q: What does it take to qualify for benefits?
A: Veteran's Services and Benefits is a selective program based on certain conditions established by law. The principal requirements are:
1) Active Duty 180 days or 90 days Active Duty with War time service with discharge or Separation under honorable
2) Legal residence in the City of Pittsfield
3) Financial need
Q: Where may I file an application?
A: The Veterans’ Services Department is located on the 2nd floor of City Hall, 70 Allen Street, Room 204, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
Q: Where can I get a copy of my discharge papers?
A: If the Veteran was a Massachusetts residence at the time of entrance into the service and returned to Massachusetts after discharge, the War Records Department may have a copy. If you were from another state, check with your local Veterans’ Services Department and one can be applied for at the National Archives website.