Who is a Veteran

According to M.G.L. ch.4 s.7, clause 43 a "veteran" is defined to have either:

  • 180 days of regular active duty service and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions
  • 90 days of active duty service, one day of which is during "wartime" per the chart which follows, and a last discharge or release under honorable conditions, except for Vietnam I which requires 180 days of active duty service (see chart that follows).  

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 a last discharge or release under honorable conditions
  • Members who were activated under Title 10 or Title 32 of the U.S. Code of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 33, sections 38,40, and 41 must have 90 days, at least one of which was during wartime, per the chart which follows. The members' last discharge or release must be under honorable conditions.

Eligible Wartime Periods

Under current law, VA recognizes the following wartime periods to determine eligibility for VA Pension benefits:

Mexican Border Period (May 9, 1916 – April 5, 1917 for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders, or adjacent waters)

World War I (April 6, 1917 – November 11, 1918)

World War II (December 7, 1941 – December 31, 1946)

Korean conflict (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)

Vietnam era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975 for Veterans who served in the Republic of Vietnam during that period; otherwise August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975)

Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – through a future date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation