From Battlefields to Welfare Benefits: A Disabled Veterans Life
When battle tested American soldiers return home with Debilitating injuries that are difficult to endure for the soldiers as well as their loved ones. First they have to deal with their injuries, next they deal with the humiliation of the bureaucrats from the federal government.
Wounded warriors have two basic choices when they return home. They can receive approximately $3,100 per month in disability benefits, medical care and other welfare programs or try to find a job in this down economy to take care of their family’s needs. With this horrendous economy, lot of times the disability benefits far exceed what jobs they can find in the civilian labor force. A study was done at Stanford University that reported enrollment in US veteran disability programs rose from 2.3 million in 2002 to 4.3 million by 2014. Also the percentage of veterans receiving disability benefits increase from 8.4% in 2002 to 21.3% in 2014. California military veterans accounted for 15.8% of all veterans that have served in the military since 2001. These statistics have had an increasing effect on the State of California. Some of the hardest hit counties in California was Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Diego County, Alameda County, Riverside County, Sacramento County, Ventura County & San Bernardo County. Navy Seal Eric Greitens has explained that Soldiers who have served their country honorably are transformed into welfare recipients who live off their country. “When a vet comes home from War, they go through tremendous changes in identity. We meet a lot of veterans who see themselves as a charity case after serving in duty and they are not sure of what they have to contribute anymore to society”.
What tangible factors have driven the “Disability Boom” since 911 happened in New York City on September 11 2001?
The Bureau of Veteran Affairs has added additional disability due to linking Agent Orange form the Vietnam War. Type 2 diabetes has been added as a disability and so has heart disease. Another factor can be that the younger vets have less averse to being on welfare or disability versus the older generation. Vets that have served since 1990 are more likely to sign for disability: 1 in 4 versus 1 in 7 for those over the age of 56. It has been noted that vets shouldn’t go back to the age when they were afraid to admit weaknesses. Veterans Affairs has tried to set up counseling all over the country to help rehabilitate wounded warriors to get back on their feet and overcome their injuries. They have declared what a waste of their life is when they are discharged and have their prime working years ahead of them. It was recommended to help vets by having them recognize their abilities rather than solely focusing on their disabilities. Veteran Affairs is trying to reallocate their resources to spend more on job training and less on disability. Veteran benefits has realized the best way for returning war veterans to be stabilized is helping them become homeowners through VA Home Loans programs. Some of the benefits include zero down payments, Sellers Concessions for closing costs & streamlined programs for reduced documents needed to be approved for a home loan. Veteran Affairs has realized that a stable home life for veterans is the best way to transition returning war vets from battlefield to civilian life.
The US Military is very good at sending soldiers off to war. Yet the problem still persists when these wounded warriors return home, they are allowed to live a reasonable life on benefits versus helping them get reeducated and getting a job.
Orange County- 1300 S Grand Avenue Santa Ana, Ca 9270 Ph: (714) 480-6555
Los Angeles County- 1816 S Figueroa Street Los Angeles, Ca 90015 Ph: (213) 744-4825
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Alameda County- 39155 Liberty Street Fremont, Ca 94538 Ph: (510) 577-1942