Health and Human Services

Somerville is a city that upholds progressive principles for both employees and residents. The City of Somerville embraces and encourages an innovative, empowering, and collaborative workplace culture in a fast-paced, challenging environment. The City also offers a generous benefits package that embodies a strong work-life balance. Not only is Somerville a “Model City,” as termed by The Boston Globe, but it is also a model employer.

Statement of Duties

The Director of Veterans Services works under the administrative direction of the Director of Health and Human Services, and in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws and rules and regulations of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services.


Essential Functions:

  • As a Veterans’ Services Director, per M.G.L. Ch. 115, sec. 3, receives and processes applications for veterans’ benefits, financial and medical assistance payments for qualified needy veterans and their dependents, in accordance with Commonwealth of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) 108. 
  • As a Veterans’ Burial Agent, prepares and pays eligible claims for the proper burial and interment charges of indigent veterans or their dependents as per M.G.L., Ch. 115, sec. 7.
  • As a Veterans’ Graves Registration Officer, maintains recorded list of veteran deaths within the City, showing date and cause of death, location of grave, name and location of cemetery and dates of wartime service, per M.G.L. Ch. 115, sec. 9.
  • Attends training seminars and conferences as required.
  • Obtains and maintains certification as required by the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services. 
  • Supports the administration of various veterans’ benefits available to veterans and their dependents, including pensions, compensation, hospitalization, outpatient treatment, housing, education, burial and other benefits available under federal and state programs, and from various non-profit entities.
  • Conducts investigations and qualifies client claims; ; authorizes payments; performs follow-up activities to ensure appropriate use of benefits and assistance.
  • Provides support, referrals and counseling to veterans and their dependentsto appropriate agencies or services providers; assistance and benefit opportunities; assists with applications and other forms, and in acquiring documentation needed to prove veteran benefits eligibility.
  • Prepares accurate reports to state agencies for municipal reimbursements; ensures that applications and reports conform to state regulations.
  •  Prepares and administers division budget Organizes and coordinates memorial activities for veterans including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans’ Day activities.
  • Ensures that memorial squares and monuments are decorated for appropriate memorial occasions and ceremonies. 
  • Serves as staff to the Veteran’s Commission on Monuments, Memorials, and Dedications.

Performs similar or related work as required or as situation dictates.


Recommended Minimum Qualifications                                                                


Education and Experience: Bachelor’s degree in human relations, social work or related field, and three (3) years of work experience in social welfare administration, veterans’ benefits administration; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills and abilities to perform the essential functions of the job.


Special Requirements: 

Must be an honorably discharged Veteran. Must have a Massachusetts drivers’ license with a satisfactory driving record. Veterans’ Services Director certification preferred must obtain within one year of employment.


Knowledge, Abilities and Skill

Knowledge:  Thorough knowledge of state and federal laws pertaining to veterans, their dependents and the responsibilities of the Director of Veterans’ Services, specifically Mass General Laws, Chapter 115 and its amendments, as well as Title 38 of the Federal Code.  Knowledge of the methods and principles of veterans’ benefits assistance, casework, administration and available resources.


Abilities: Ability to plan, negotiate and assume leadership in relations with community and governmental agencies and in establishing and coordinating programs for veterans.  Ability to establish effective working relationships with applicants, recipients, other agencies and the general public.  Ability to prepare and administer budgets and to prepare financial reports.  Ability to work independently and maintain confidentiality.  Ability to supervise and administer day to day office procedures, ranging in nature from routine to complex, requiring strict adherence to state and federal laws.  Ability to exercise independent judgment in the administration of benefits and other assistance services to veterans and their dependents.  Ability to communicate effectively in written and oral form.  Proficiency in Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint); ability to utilize veteran-specific software such as Veterans’ Information Management System (VISMS) and the Veterans’ Compensation and Pension Portal VectraSpec.  Ability to counsel veterans and their families effectively. 


Skill: Excellent oral and written communication skills; skill in coordinating various programs and projects simultaneously; training in interpersonal communication and mediation skills; excellent supervisory skills.


Work Environment                                                                                                  

The work environment involves everyday discomforts typical of offices, with occasional exposure to outside elements.  Noise or physical surroundings may be distracting, but conditions are generally not unpleasant.  Employee may be required to work beyond normal business hours in response to attend evening meetings, weekend events, or to complete work assignments.


Physical and Mental Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the position’s essential functions.


Physical Skills

Little or no physical demands are required to perform the work. Work effort principally involves sitting to perform work tasks, with intermittent periods of stooping, walking, and standing. There may also be some occasional lifting of objects such as books, office equipment and computer paper (up to 30 lbs.)


Motor Skills

Duties are largely mental rather than physical, but the job may occasionally require minimal motor skills for activities such as moving objects, operating a telephone system, computer and/or most other office equipment, typing and/or word processing, filing, and sorting.


Visual Skills

Visual demands include constantly reading documents for general understanding and for analytical purposes.

Application Procedure: 

This position is open until filled. Send your resume and cover letter to:

City Hall Personnel Office
93 Highland Avenue
Somerville MA 02143
Fax: 617-666-4426
TTY: 1-866-808-4851
Email: [email protected]ov

City of Somerville residents are especially encouraged to apply.

The City of Somerville is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability or any other protected category. Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Auxiliary aids and services, written materials in alternative formats, and reasonable modifications in policies and procedures will be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities free of charge, upon request.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or [email protected].

Full Time Plus Benefits
Application Start Date: 
Monday, November 4, 2019