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Veteran Status and Material Hardship: The Moderating Influence of Disability

April 2011

Colleen M. Heflin, University of Missouri-Columbia, Janet M. Wilmoth, Syracuse University, and Andrew S. London, Syracuse University

Download 'working_paper11-11.pdf'.


Veterans are a sizeable and policy-relevant demographic group in the United States, yet very little is known about their economic well-being. While having a work-limiting disability is known to be associated with material hardship, no study of which we are aware has focused on experiences of material hardship among veteran households in contrast to comparable nonveteran households, or on whether work-limiting disability moderates the association between veteran status and material hardship. We use the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to examine variation in the likelihood of household material hardship by veteran and disability statuses. Results indicate that: non-disabled veteran households report lower or equivalent levels of material hardship than households with no veteran or person with disability; households that include a person with a disability, regardless of whether a veteran is present, have higher levels of every type of hardship; and disabled veteran households experience significantly more hardship than non-disabled veteran households.

Health, Health Insurance, and Health Care, Poverty Trends and Measurement