State officials including Lt. Gov Tim Murray and Attorney General Martha Coakley gathered at Bunker Hill Community College Friday to cut the ribbon on a new tool to help veterans find their benefits.
“This is the first time I’ve been to a ribbon-cutting for a website,” Coakley said. “I’m sure we have an ap for that.”
The new site, www.MassVetsAdvisor.org, offers access to more than 200 state and federal benefit programs for education, counseling, employment, health care and more.
“Returning to civilian life is challenging,” said Kyle Toto, a U.S. Army veteran who worked with Massachusetts Broadband Institute on the project. “When I came home from Afghanistan I wanted to spend time with friends and family and not have to search endlessly for my benefits. MassVetsAdvisor allows veterans and their families to search for their benefits from the comfort of their homes and on their own time.”
Toto walked an audience through how the site works during the Friday presentation. After clicking through the entry screen, Toto entered his own status, which whittled the more than 260 programs down to 85. Clicking on one of the programs known as the “Welcome Home” benefit, he showed the audience instructions on how to apply and links to the relevant documents.
The Massachusetts Broadband Institute, a division of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services, the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program to develop the website.