In Texas, we like to do things big. But when it comes to the number of disability beneficiaries, that's likely something that we'd rather do small. Unfortunately, as of 2011, close to 300,000 veterans were receiving disability benefits because of debilitating injuries or mental health conditions, according to the Veterans Benefits Administration. And with current projections on the rise, who knows what that number will grow to in a few years time.
Because of the media, many people across the nation are familiar with the more common disabilities associated with returning soldiers such as post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. But few know that the largest number of recipients nationwide suffered from musculoskeletal conditions that not only caused them pain but limited their ability to move as well. While some of the conditions in this category were brought on by sudden injuries, many occured because of repetitive strains to bones and joints.
Not surprising, the number of disability beneficiaries in 2011, between the ages of 55 and 75, were the highest, sitting at a little over 131,500 claimants. As most people are already well aware, a person's risk of injury increases as you get older which can severely impact your ability to work as you age. This can be especially problematic for service members who may not have the wide range of skills necessary to make it in the civilian market.
As a result, many disabled officers are forced to apply for benefits as an alternative to becoming financially unstable. A far better option than suffering through a disability without help, some Texas residents might say.
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, "Veterans Benefits Administration Annual Benefits Report," 2011