Even among individuals with strong support networks, this year’s coronavirus pandemic led many disabled veterans to feel isolated and fearful, according to a new study from the Wounded Warrior Project released Friday.
The findings were part of the 11th annual membership poll conducted by the group, gathering responses from more than 28,000 wounded veterans. About 95 percent of the group receives some disability payouts from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Group officials cautioned that the findings do not represent the veteran population as a whole, but instead offer a snapshot into the challenges and successes of veterans living with permanent injuries from their military service.
And although 80 percent of veterans surveyed said they have “people in their lives they can depend on” for assistance, they also reported significant stress related to the ongoing pandemic.
Nearly 61 percent said they felt “disconnected” from family, friends or their communities. About 52 percent said that their mental health suffered and 49 percent said their physical health suffered because of social distancing.
More than 41 percent said their employment or work prospects were hurt by coronavirus restrictions, and 34 percent said they have or expect to face significant financial problems.
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