On September 16, 2014, the Wounded Warrior Project released the results of their 2014 Annual Alumni Survey. The organization surveyed more than 21,000 wounded Veterans in an effort to determine the areas where these Veterans struggle after they separate from the Military. The intention is that the data provided by the survey can be used to improve support and benefits for wounded Veterans.
The survey found that the two most common problems in accessing both physical and mental healthcare were 1. Difficulty in scheduling appointments, and 2. Inconsistent treatment due to canceled appointments and switches in providers. The survey found that this was not just among VA healthcare patients, but among Veterans seen by private providers as well.
The survey revealed that the primary type of current health insurance or coverage cited included Veterans Affairs at 59.2%. This stat was up from 52.7% in 2013.
The percentage of Veterans receiving VA disability benefits is 72%, which is up from 62.8% in 2013.
The number of Veterans with a VA disability rating of 80% or higher rose to 42.6% in 2014, up from 36.2% in 2013.
The study also found that the top five reported injuries and health problems experienced during post-9/11 service were:
- Sleep disorders (75.8%)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (75.2%)
- Back, neck, and shoulder problems (72.3%)
- Depression (67.1%)
- Anxiety (64.2%) or
Other important findings from the survey include:
- The unemployment rate for respondents in the labor force is 13.9%
- 82.3% of warriors are overweight or obese
- 75% of warriors reported the memory of an upsetting military experience has haunted them in the past month.
- 59.2% of warriors say talking with another veteran is in their top five ways for coping with stress
- 43.2% of warriors report having a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
This is the fifth consecutive year that the Wounded Warrior Project has conducted this survey. The data will allow the organization to identify trends and compare this data with surveys from other military populations.
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Military Connection: Wounded Warrior Project Survey: By Debbie Gregory