Marshfield: Veterans encouraged to explore benefits

The State Secretary of Veterans’ Services says it’s a ‘unique challenge’ assisting today’s wide range of veterans.

“There are about 385,000 vets in the Commonwealth today but that number ranges from seniors who served in World War II and Korea to 18 and 19-year-olds who served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” says Coleman Nee

Nee visited Marshfield Tuesday afternoon with a message to all veterans to explore available benefits.

Finding a stable job is a looming concern for some men and women returning home from current conflicts but Nee says veterans should take advantage of the education programs offered through the federal G.I bill.

However some veterans of past conflicts are buried in bills, most notably medical bills. According to Nee, because of state legislature, known as Chapter 115, if a veteran makes $1,800 or less a month they can receive a vast amount of assistance, “You should fill out an application because you’re going to be eligible for things like putting you on MassHealth, covering medical care coverage, prescriptions, co-payments, deductibles, possibly financial assistance.”

With veterans from the Korean War and Vietnam era experiencing diabetes and hearing loss, healthcare coverage for veterans is offered not only through the state but also through the U.S Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “We need to make sure that you are connected into the health care system so that you get your screenings, you get your health care. We want to make sure that happens today not 10, 15, 20 years from now when it’s a scramble,” explains Nee

The U.S Department of Veterans’ Affairs recently opened a healthcare clinic in Plymouth which offers primary care service and access to specialty care for veterans on the South Shore.

State legislature also requires that every Massachusetts town has either an exclusive or district Veterans’ Service Officer to help veterans navigate their way through the benefit system because Nee notes that not many veterans are aware of the services available like assisted senior housing which veterans receive preference.

Nee encourages veterans to speak with their town’s service officer in order to discover discounts like those offered by utility companies which can be upwards of 25%.

State Representative Jim Cantwell

State Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee

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About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.