According to a news release published in April 2021 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’s a 3.4% unemployment rate among veterans with a service-connected disability. According to the VA, this equates to roughly 386,000 veterans.
Stats like these remind us of the importance of disabled veteran vocational rehabilitation programs like the VA’s Veteran Readiness and Employment (VR&E) initiative. Below, we’ll present some more veteran disability statistics and discuss why programs like this are so important. We’ll also offer a few suggestions on how disabled veteran vocational rehabilitation programs can operate more effectively.
Veteran disability statistics
Here are some statistics that illustrate the importance of disabled veteran vocational rehabilitation programs:
- Nearly 30% of veterans ages 21 to 64 report having a disability.
- Nearly 20% of veterans received disability compensation payments during 2017 (the most recent year reported by the U.S. Census Bureau).
- In 2019, roughly 66 million veterans had a service-connected disability rating of 70% or higher (disabilities are rated by the VA on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being completely disabled).
- 41% of veterans who served after September 11, 2001, are considered to have a service-connected disability rating, compared to 25% of veterans who served prior to 9/11.
- The veteran unemployment rate (4.4%) is lower than the nonveteran unemployment rate (5.3%).
- 57% of veterans with disabilities fear that they will be discriminated against by potential employers.
How disabled veteran vocational rehabilitation programs help veterans get back to work
The VA’s VR&E program provides job training and educational opportunities to help veterans with service-connected disability ratings to obtain employment. The VA might help a veteran write and submit resumes or coach them on interviewing, depending on the individual’s needs.
This program includes additional services for veterans with disabilities. If an individual requires accommodations to retain employment, the VA can help them get those accommodations. In cases where a veteran is too disabled to perform work-related tasks, VR&E staff will help them to secure stable, independent housing and living accommodations.
Why disabled veteran vocational rehabilitation programs are so important
Joblessness can have a significant impact on a person’s health, well-being and overall quality of life. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, unemployment increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, high blood pressure, arthritis and other conditions. It also frequently causes depression, anxiety and other negative feelings.
In other words, rehabilitating a veteran’s work can also rehabilitate their health.
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