• Sat. Jun 10th, 2023

Study: Wounded Vets Face Growing Challenges in Existing Economy


May 26, 2023

Paying bills and job hunting in this economy are tough for everyone. Wounded veterans, normally facing ongoing physical and mental overall health troubles, have it even worse.

Extra wounded vets than prior to reported not getting adequate money to make ends meet, a current survey discovered. Sixty-4 % of these surveyed — or six in ten vets — mentioned they did not have adequate cash to spend bills at least as soon as in the previous 12 months, a jump from 42% the preceding year, according to the Annual Warrior Survey released this year by the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit veterans service organization.

“We’re finding extra feedback from ‘warriors’ that they are getting a tougher and tougher time meeting their economic obligations on a common basis,” says Tom Kastner, vice president of economic wellness at the Wounded Warrior Project.

Wounded vets are feeling the pinch of inflation like everybody else. The expense of each day goods like meals was the major reported bring about of economic strain. That is on top rated of a struggle with meals insecurity. Almost two in five wounded veterans — or 38.7% — met the threshold for getting meals insecure, defined as not getting adequate meals for an active, healthful life. That figure is practically 4 occasions greater than the ten.two% of the U.S. basic population, the survey discovered.

The Wounded Warrior Project is developed to assistance wounded veterans, known as “warriors” by the nonprofit, by way of their transitions to civilian life with solutions in mental overall health, physical overall health, peer connection, profession counseling and economic wellness, at no charge. The annual survey represents the views of extra than 165,000 warriors and is the biggest survey of post-9/11 wounded veterans.

Right here are some other essential findings from the February report.

Debt and money flow are a new challenge

Wounded veterans face extra economic strain general than prior to, the study discovered. Aside from the expense of goods, other factors provided for economic strain incorporated:

  • Functioning but not generating adequate cash (26.eight%).

  • Household obligations (26.six%).

Nine in ten respondents (92.eight%) also reported carrying debt other than mortgage debt, such as credit card debt, private loans or auto loans. Extra than half (56.eight%) reported at least $20,000 in nonmortgage debt. These trends are in line with previous surveys, but Kastner notes that the mixture of debt and lack of money is a challenge.

“Debt is not new, but now we’re finding, ‘I have debt, but I also can not spend my bills like I employed to,'” he says. Extra than 43% of warriors mentioned they had small to no self-confidence they could cover a $1,000 emergency expense, a measure of economic overall health.

A vibrant spot: reduce unemployment

There was some superior news when it came to unemployment. The share of unemployed warriors dropped to six.eight% in 2022, compared with extra than 13% the preceding year. But warriors nonetheless have a greater unemployment price than the basic population (three.7%) and all veterans (two.four%).

Unemployed wounded veterans say ongoing mental overall health or psychological distress are their largest barriers to locating jobs, followed by difficulty translating military expertise to the civilian workforce and lack of education.

The Wounded Warrior Project assists train warriors to uncover jobs as effectively as file and obtain veteran and disability added benefits, and it delivers emergency economic help as effectively as lengthy-term economic education, Kastner says.

All round, the survey findings underscore the urgency of supplying extra help and education to address the economic challenges of wounded veterans.

“We have to spend improved consideration to the economic readiness of our warriors,” Kastner says.

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