Veterans’ Use of Programs and Services as They Transition to Civilian Life: Baseline Assessment for the Veteran Metrics Initiative

Daniel F. Perkins, Keith R. Aronson, Nicole R. Morgan, Julia A. Bleser, Dawne Vogt, Laurel A. Copeland, Erin P. Finley, Cynthia Gilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A substantial minority of veterans struggle as they reintegrate into civilian life, reporting problems with vocational attainment, legal/financial/housing challenges, physical and mental health conditions, and social/interpersonal issues. While there are thousands of programs and services offered to veterans, little is known about which ones they use. In the current exploratory study, veterans separated from active duty in the prior three-months (48,965) were invited to complete a survey. Two primary questions were addressed: What programs/services did veterans use to assist in their reintegration to civilian life? What specific components/attributes of those programs did veterans report using? A total of 9566 veterans completed the survey. Approximately, two-thirds of veterans used at least one program to enhance their well-being, while one-third reported using multiple programs across multiple domains. Veterans primarily sought assistance for employment and educational advancement. Fewer veterans sought assistance for legal/financial/housing, health, and social functioning challenges. Social service providers and policy makers should be aware of the resources veterans use as they reintegrate into civilian life. Future research should examine factors that predict the use and nonuse of veteran reintegration programs, how use changes over time, and what factors predict program/service use, particularly among veterans at risk for poor transition outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 3 2020


  • Veterans
  • program/service utilization
  • support programs
  • veteran reintegration
  • veterans administration
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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