With post-September 11th deployments winding down, a large number of military veterans—including many who have been wounded in the line of duty or who have become partially or fully disabled—returned home to a sluggish economy marked by high unemployment rates, record numbers of home foreclosures, massive student loan debt, and families challenged to manage finances. The accounts receivable management industry offers numerous resources to support veterans and their families. These resources can be tapped to overcome the following characteristics of today’s returning veterans.
- The jobless rate for those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since September 2001 was 7.3% in 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. As of December 2008, the national rate was 5%, making post-September 11th veterans a disproportionate percentage of all unemployed persons.
- Approximately 5.9% of veterans were living below the poverty line as of 2006, according to the 2006 American Community Survey.
- According to the same survey, there are more than 2.6 million veterans younger than 65 years of age with a disability.
- CNN reported in 2013, according figures released by the Department of Veterans Affairs, suicides among veterans have been estimated to number at least 22 per day. Recounting a 2007 CBS news report, veterans were “more than twice as likely to commit suicide in 2005 than non-veterans … veterans aged 20 through 24 had an extremely high proportional rate of suicide compared to civilians the same age.” The World Health Organization website reports that, “suicide results from many complex sociocultural factors and is more likely to occur particularly during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis situations (e.g. loss of a loved one, employment, honour).” These two sources of data about suicide indicate a link between a loss of opportunity and financial difficulties for veterans and thoughts of suicide.
The accounts receivable management industry is uniquely poised to help veterans find jobs in a growing industry, overcome financial challenges through greater financial literacy and more job opportunities, and overcome career-related inhibitors to employment related to disabilities due to unique opportunities in the industry for disabled veterans.