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Study: Wounded Vets Face Rising Challenges in Existing Economy


May 26, 2023

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

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

“We’re obtaining far more 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 absolutely everyone else. The expense of each day goods like meals was the major reported result in 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 becoming meals insecure, defined as not getting sufficient meals for an active, healthful life. That figure is pretty much 4 instances larger than the ten.two% of the U.S. common population, the survey identified.

The Wounded Warrior Project is created to help wounded veterans, referred to as “warriors” by the nonprofit, by means 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 far more than 165,000 warriors and is the biggest survey of post-9/11 wounded veterans.

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

Debt and money flow are a new challenge

Wounded veterans face far more economic strain general than just before, the study identified. Aside from the expense of goods, other factors offered for economic strain integrated:

  • Functioning but not generating sufficient 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, individual loans or auto loans. Additional 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 obtaining, ‘I have debt, but I also cannot spend my bills like I utilized to,'” he says. Additional than 43% of warriors mentioned they had tiny to no self-confidence they could cover a $1,000 emergency expense, a measure of economic overall health.

A vibrant spot: reduced unemployment

There was some fantastic news when it came to unemployment. The share of unemployed warriors dropped to six.eight% in 2022, compared with far more than 13% the earlier year. But warriors nonetheless have a larger unemployment price than the common population (three.7%) and all veterans (two.four%).

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

The Wounded Warrior Project aids train warriors to uncover jobs as effectively as file and obtain veteran and disability positive aspects, and it offers emergency economic help as effectively as lengthy-term economic education, Kastner says.

All round, the survey findings underscore the urgency of delivering far more help and education to address the economic challenges of wounded veterans.

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

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