Nov 11, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Many veterans don’t know about their benefits

Illustration of military camouflage with patterns in the shape of reaching hands

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Many veterans are unaware of a range of other benefits, from financial counseling to career services, that are also available to them.

Why it matters: Rates of homelessness are higher among veterans than the general public, and 15 in every 100 veterans are living with PTSD, but many aren’t aware of the safety net that exists to support them.

  • Veterans are very happy, however, with one of their biggest benefits — health care from the VA.

By the numbers: According to a new Ipsos poll, 80% of veterans rate their health care as good or very good.

  • But a whopping 63% say they’re not sure how to rate the VA’s financial counseling services and another 54% say they don’t know how to rate career services.
  • Some 50% of vets say they’re not sure how to rate the VA’s life insurance and 33% are unsure about housing assistance.

Between the lines: That suggests that the majority of vets may be not have much visibility into these additional benefits.

  • Veterans who knew about those benefits tend to use them.
  • Of the veterans who said they were “most knowledge” about the VA’s offerings, 62% said they received all benefits from department. Just 41% of vets who said they were “least knowledgeable” about the offerings did the same.

The big picture: Veterans appear to have a high degree of satisfaction with the benefits they do take advantage of, but a lack of awareness may be keeping them from accessing even more services that could make a big difference in their lives and livelihoods.

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