Source: Scott D. Szymendera, Congressional Research Service, R42324, May 25, 2016
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a broad range of benefits to U.S. Armed Forces veterans and certain members of their families. Among these benefits are various types of financial assistance, including monthly cash payments to disabled veterans, health care, education, and housing. Basic criteria must be met to be eligible to receive any of the benefits administered by the VA.
This report examines the basic eligibility criteria for VA administered veterans’ benefits, including the issue of eligibility of members of the National Guard and reserve components….
Source: Sidath Viranga Panangala, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R42747, April 21, 2016
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA), within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), operates the nation’s largest integrated health care delivery system, provides care to approximately 6.7 million unique veteran patients, and employs more than 311,000 full-time equivalent employees. …
This report covers the following topics:
Eligibility and Enrollment
Costs to Veterans and Insurance Collections
Source: Libby Perl, Congressional Research Service (CRS), CRS Report for Congress, RL34024, November 6, 2015
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans. Researchers have found both male and female veterans to be overrepresented in the homeless population, and, as the number of veterans increased due to these conflicts, there was concern that the number of homeless veterans could rise commensurately. The 2007-2009 recession and the subsequent slow economic recovery also raised concerns that homelessness could increase among all groups, including veterans.
Congress has created numerous programs that serve homeless veterans specifically, almost all of which are funded through the Veterans Health Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). These programs provide health care and rehabilitation services for homeless veterans (the Health Care for Homeless Veterans and Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans programs), employment assistance (Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program—a Department of Labor program—and Compensated Work Therapy program), and transitional housing (Grant and Per Diem program) as well as supportive services (the Supportive Ser
vices for Veteran Families program). The VA also works with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide permanent supportive housing to homeless veterans through the HUD-VA Supported Housing Program (HUD-VASH). In the HUD-VASH program, HUD funds rental assistance through Section 8 vouchers while the VA provides supportive services. In addition, the VA and HUD have collaborated on a homelessness prevention demonstration program. Several issues regarding veterans and homelessness have become prominent, in part because of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. One issue is ending homelessness among veterans….. Another issue is the concern that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are at risk of homelessness may not receive the services they need. In addition, concerns have arisen about the needs of female veterans, whose numbers are increasing….
Source: Capitol Ideas, Vol. 58 no. 4, July-August 2015
Addressing Mental Health
by Debra Miller
Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and other mental health concerns can make the transition to civilian life hard for those coming home from war. But states are creating new programs and services to help make that readjustment easier.
by Jennifer Ginn
Women have fought for and earned the right to serve alongside men in combat zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. New state programs aim to ensure that women soldiers also receive equal treatment and programming when they come back home.
by Jennifer Ginn
The number of active duty military members or veterans in Congress has been shrinking for decades. We asked three state legislators how their service in the military has affected them as policymakers and hat they think this tend of veterans missing from capitols means for states.
Source: Katherine Barrett & Richard Greene, Council of State Governments, The Current State, no. 23, July 13, 2015
In the past five years, at least 10 states have created a commission or task force to aid returning veterans. Sometimes, the solution to the difficulties veterans face is not one of creating new benefits or services, but is more in creating easier access to programs that are already available.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, May 22, 2015
Among employed veterans age 18 or older, the most common occupations for men are professional and related; management, business, and financial operations; and service occupations. In 2014, these three groups accounted for 50 percent of all employed men who had previously served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. These were also the largest occupational groups among male nonveterans. Male veterans were more likely than nonveterans to work in transportation and material moving and installation, maintenance, and repair occupations. Male veterans were less likely to work in construction occupations.
Source: Gregory B. Lewis and Rahul Pathak, State and Local Government Review, Vol. 46 no. 2, June 2014
From the abstract:
Has veterans’ preference been successful in increasing military veterans’ access to state and local government (SLG) jobs? U.S. Census data for 1980 through 2011 show that veterans are more likely than nonveterans to work for SLGs, despite some characteristics that would normally make them less likely to take SLG jobs. This is especially true in states that offer absolute preference or pay well relative to the private sector.
Source: Erin Bagalman, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R43579, June 3, 2014
It’s a simple question—how many veterans use services at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA)? It’s a question being asked a lot these days, and it is important, baseline information to know when changes are being contemplated to the way in which VA delivers health care to veterans. In the course of an investigation into allegations that veterans seeking health care services from the VHA experienced long delays in treatment, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an interim report that substantiated the delays. Final determinations by the OIG of the full scope and impact of the problems, including whether delays in treatment resulted in harm to or the death of any veterans, will not be available until the OIG completes its investigation and issues a final report. The issue of wait times for VA health care is not new (see CRS Insight IN10063, Wait Times for Veterans Health Not New). Approaches to providing timely access to care for veterans enrolled in VA health care have included the use of non-VA care reimbursed by the VA (see CRS Insight IN10074, Getting Health Care Outside the VA). The need to rely on non-VA care in some cases has raised questions about the VA’s capacity to provide services to the veteran population now and in the future. Knowing how many veterans there are is essential to answering those questions. …
Source: William Hays Weissman, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 40 no. 1, Summer 2014
In this article, the author describes four fundamental defects with the new regulations promulgated by the OFCCP that he believes are likely to make them ineffective at providing greater employment opportunities and assistance to veterans most in need. The author them offers suggestions for what the government, veterans and employers should be doing to increase employment opportunities for veterans most in need.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic News Release, USDL-14-0434, March 20, 2014
The unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces at any time since September 2001–a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans–edged down to 9.0 percent in 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The jobless rate for all veterans also edged down to 6.6 percent. Twenty-nine percent of Gulf War-era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability in August 2013, compared with 15 percent of all veterans. This information was obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a monthly sample survey of about 60,000 households that provides data on employment and unemployment in the United States. Data about veterans are collected monthly in the CPS; those monthly data are the source of the 2013 annual averages presented in this news release. In August 2013, a supplement to the CPS collected additional information about veterans on topics such as service-connected disability and veterans’ current or past Reserve or National Guard membership. Information from the supplement is also presented in this release. The supplement was co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. For more information, see the Technical Note, which provides definitions of terms used in this release.
Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs
Source: Benjamin Collins, Robert Jay Dilger, Cassandria Dortch, Lawrence Kapp, Sean Lowry, Libby Perl, Congressional Research Service (CRS), CRS Report for Congress, R42790, February 20, 2014