10/26/2018 4:00:00 PM
Luke Greiner, Mark Schultz
Current or former military members, no matter the era of service, receive priority services in all WorkForce Centers across the state. This can include help with long-term decisions like career planning or pursuing education, as well as more immediate tasks like posting a resume or landing a job. A statewide network of veterans employment representatives can also help veterans that have significant challenges finding or keeping a job or have a service-connected disability.
Unfortunately, many veterans return from active duty with a service-connected disability. In fact, data show that veterans are more than twice as likely as non-veterans to have a disability. These can range from slight to severe – with the U.S. Veterans Administration using a disability rating scale to determine the amount of benefits or compensation awarded.
According to recent estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, almost one-fourth of veterans in Minnesota had a service-connected disability – accounting for just over 80,000 people. Half of these veterans had a disability rating of 20 percent or lower, and another 15 percent had a 30-40 percent disability rating. However, about 30 percent had a disability rating of 50 percent or higher, including 20 percent at the highest level.
Southwest Minnesota has a slightly higher concentration of veterans with a service-connected disability than the state, ranging from the county with the second highest rate in the state – Big Stone County at 39 percent - to the lowest – Lincoln County at 10.5 percent. In sum, the region was home to 6,711 veterans with a service-connected disability. Check out this interactive data visualization to see more details on the disability ratings of veterans in each county.
In addition to DEED’s employment services, there are a wide variety of resources designed to help veterans across the state: