- VA Guide to Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents (opens in a new window)
Help applying for state and federal benefits:
US Army Wounded Warrior Program
Information on benefits and eligibility:
The Veterans' Affairs Benefits Hotline:
This is a good resource for all but residents of southeastern Massachusetts (Nantucket, Barnstable, Bristol and Dukes counties). There's "a bug in the system"; the phone company connects these residents to the Boston VA Regional Office even though the Veterans Benefits Administration serves them through the Providence Road Island Regional Office only. Southeastern Massachusetts residents may get help by calling the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services representative in RI at 401-223-3685 (Dick Early).
Resources on the appeals process
- To appeal a denial to a VA claim, contact your preferred Veterans Services Organization (below) and download the pamphlets: "Understanding the Appeal Process" and "How Do I Appeal," available at this US Department of Veterans Affairs web page. Appeals are reviewed by the VA's Board of Veterans Appeals. If the Board decision does not go your way, the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims may review the Board's decisions. Unfortunately appeals are backlogged and can typically take two or more years to resolve.
- Veterans' Services Organizations (VSOs) Veterans' Services Organizations (VSOs) are private organizations with staff or volunteers at regional VA offices, hospitals, and communities to help veterans file a claim for benefits or file an appeal to a denial. More information.
- National Organization of Veterans' Advocates Unfortunately it's not easy to find free or paid attorneys to represent veterans through the appeals process. If you are appealing a denial for benefits you may wish to find a paid lawyer who specializes in veteran benefits cases through the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates. Some will work on a contingency basis (they are paid when you are paid). Contact 1-800-810-8387 for a referral. www.vetadvocates.org
- Patient Advocates The appeals process is appropriate for decisions on a veteran's eligibility for medical care or reimbursement for medical services. However, decisions about the appropriateness of medical care, such as whether a veteran needs a specific type of AT service or device, cannot be effectively pursued through the Board of Veterans Appeals. These are instead pursued through the administrative channels of the Veterans Health Administration. Your best starting place is to ask for and work with the Patient Advocate assigned to your VA medical facility. Each VA medical center has one. Find your local VA medical center at the VA website.
- Congressional Representatives Veterans who are frustrated with the quality of their care or inability to access care sometimes pursue their federal congressional representative for constituent advocacy services. Veterans who pursue this route have generally exhausted existing channels within their VA medical facility. Constituent advocates from congressional offices can help veterans get answers and/or access better services from the Veterans Health Administration. Their effectiveness will vary case-by-case. To find who your Massachusetts representative is and their contact information visit this malegislature.gov site.