2019 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium
Section 8: Veterans
This section presents statistics on Veterans in the United States. Specifically, the data address service connected to disability rating; the prevalence of disabilities in the Veteran population; the portion of the Veteran population that experiences poverty (as well as the difference between the poverty rates (poverty gap) of Veterans with and without disabilities), by disability status; and Veterans’ benefits, by disability status. The principal sources of these data are the U.S. Census Bureau, specifically the American Community Survey and the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Annual Benefits Report. For these tables, statistics for people with disabilities (disability status) are based on having responded ‘yes’ to a series of questions within the American Community Survey (see the glossary for more details). Poverty is defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and set as a dollar threshold by the U.S. Census Bureau in all sources (see the glossary for more details).
Table 8.1: In 2018, according to the American Community Survey, 1,527,220 individuals ages 18 and over living in the community reported having a military service-connected disability rating of 70 percent or more.
Table 8.2: In 2018, there were 8,842,294 civilian veterans ages 18 to 64 years living in the community, 1,589,568 of which were individuals with disabilities—a prevalence rate of 18.0 percent. Delaware had the lowest prevalence rate (12.1 percent) while the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico had the highest prevalence rate (27.8 percent).
Tables 8.3 and 8.4: In 2018, of the 1,589,568 civilian veterans with disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community, 257,933 individuals lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 16.2 percent. In contrast, of the 7,252,726 civilian veterans without disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community, 430,586 civilian veterans lived in poverty—a poverty rate of 5.9 percent. The poverty rate for civilian veterans with disabilities was highest in the District of Columbia (27.8 percent) and lowest in Hawaii (6.1 percent).
Table 8.5: In 2018, the poverty rate of civilian veterans with disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community was 16.2 percent, while the poverty rate of individuals without disabilities ages 18 to 64 years living in the community was 5.9 percent—a poverty gap of 10.3 percentage points. The poverty gap was smallest in Vermont (2.0 percentage points) and greatest in the District of Columbia (20.3 percentage points).
Table 8.6: In the Federal Fiscal Year 2018, the United States spent a total of $82,776,199 on compensation and pension benefits paid to disabled veterans.