Analysis of the 2008–2010 American Community Survey (ACS) indicates that 535,000 uninsured veterans and 174,000 uninsured spouses of veterans—or four in 10 uninsured veterans and one in four uninsured spouses—have incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and could qualify for Medicaid or new subsidies for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most of these uninsured—414,000 veterans and 113,000 spouses—have incomes below 100 percent of FPL, and will therefore only have new coverage options under the ACA if their state expands Medicaid. However, fewer than half live in states in which the governor supports their state participating in the expansion, while the majority live in states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid or have not yet decided whether to expand. The extent to which uninsured veterans and their family members with incomes below the FPL will have access to new coverage options under the ACA will depend on whether they live in a state that adopts the Medicaid expansion.
See also: Summary
From the abstract:
Military caregivers are an essential part of our nation’s ability to care for returning wounded warriors. Far too often, their own needs are neglected. The RAND Corporation and the Elizabeth Dole Foundation collaborated on a first, exploratory phase of a larger research effort regarding this demographic and its needs. The paper explores what is known about the number and characteristics of military caregivers, describes the roles and functions they perform, and highlights the effect of caregiving on their own well-being. Most existing literature on family caregivers is heavily focused on an older population caring for persons with chronic conditions or dementia. By comparison, research on military caregivers is scant, and there are notable differences that make this population unique: Military caregivers are spouses with young children, parents with full- and part-time jobs, and sometimes even young children helping shoulder some of the burden. Government services available to this population are in their infancy; community service organizations offer diverse services but they are generally uncoordinated. This paper lays the groundwork to inform policy and program development relative to the unique needs of military caregivers.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have 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 increases due to these conflicts, there is 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….
2012 findings include:
– Our members’ unemployment rate was almost 17% – significantly higher than the 12.1% average unemployment rate for Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans in 2011
– Almost half (49%) of unemployed members did not feel that employers were open to hiring veterans
– More than 50% of our members are interested in starting a business in the next 3 to 5 or 6 to 10 years
– 37% of IAVA members personally know someone they served with or another Iraq or Afghanistan veteran who has committed suicide
– 2/3 of our membership do not think troops and veterans are getting the care they need for mental health injuries, including combat-related stress or military sexual trauma
– Almost 1/3 (31%) divorced or broke up with a long-term partner as a result of deployment and the return home
– 1/4 of IAVA members with children said their child had emotional problems (25%) or had problems in school (24%)
– 60% of our membership does not think the military/ Department of Defense is doing a good job of reaching out to troops and veterans regarding their mental health injuries and care, and less than half (49%) think the VA is doing a good job of reaching out to troops and veterans regarding their mental health injuries and care
– Veteran unemployment up slightly in 2011
Source: Steve Vogel, Washington Post, March 21, 2012
– Returning military members allege job discrimination — by federal government
Source: Steve Vogel, Washington Post, February 19, 2012
– Berry calls for ‘zero tolerance’ for federal USERRA violations
Source: Steve Vogel, Washington Post, March 29, 2012
A broad range of benefits are offered to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and to certain members of their families by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Among these benefits are various types of financial assistance, including monthly cash payments to disabled veterans, health care, education, and housing benefits. Basic criteria must be met to be eligible to receive any of the benefits administered by the VA.
For a former servicemember to receive certain VA benefits, the person must have active U.S. military service for a minimum period of time and meet nature of discharge requirements. Some members of the National Guard and reserve components have difficulty meeting the active duty and length of service requirements. However, a member of the National Guard or reserve components who is activated for federal military service and serves the full period of activation is considered a veteran for purposes of VA benefits.
The GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-202) recognized the service of one group of civilians, the Women’s Air Forces Service Pilots, as active service for benefits administered by the VA, and it also established that the Secretary of Defense could determine that service for the Armed Forces by a group of civilians, or contractors, be considered active service for 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.
New data reveals how unions benefit communities, consumers, employers, and employees.
As the assault on workers’ rights reaches a fever pitch, positive messages about unions are few and far between. To push back against this trend, American Rights at Work Education Fund has produced and funded five new reports revealing that the benefits of workers’ collective action extend far beyond themselves–and even beyond their workplace. Topline findings from these reports have been compiled in our latest release, Beyond the Weekend.
Key findings featured in this new publication include the following:
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought renewed attention to the needs of veterans, including the needs of homeless veterans….
Congress has created numerous programs that serve homeless veterans specifically, almost all of which are funded through the Veterans Health Administration. 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 and Compensated Work Therapy program), and transitional housing (Grant and Per Diem program) as well as other supportive services. 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, two newly enacted programs focus on homelessness prevention through supportive services: the VA’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and a VA and HUD 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….A second issue is the concern that veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are at risk of homelessness may not receive the services they need. Efforts are being made to coordinate services between the VA and Department of Defense to ensure that those leaving military service transition to VA programs. In addition, concerns have risen about the needs of female veterans, whose numbers are increasing. Women veterans face challenges that could contribute to their risks of homelessness. They are more likely to have experienced sexual trauma than women in the general population and are more likely than male veterans to be single parents. Few homeless programs for veterans have the facilities to provide separate accommodations for women and women with children.