The primary objective of this study was to collect demographic data on veterans living in a given county in order to understand their profiles and personal capabilities. Further, the study sought to measure veterans’ awareness of local Veterans Administration (VA) facilities, the degree to which veterans utilize available VA benefits and their reasons for not using local resources for assistance in accessing these benefits, as well as their suggestions for improving local offices.

service: Qualitative
completion date: January 2007

the approach: A random sampling of 653 U.S. veterans living in the county in question were interviewed by telephone over a three-week period. The study report quantifies information regarding participants’ status, as well as their knowledge and utilization of VA and county services. Responses to attitudinal questions further reveal veterans’ state of mind.
the results: The veterans surveyed provided detailed demographic data, as well as information regarding living arrangements and current or prior utilization of benefits. The study highlights veterans’ sources of information regarding VA programs, and reveals that a significant percentage of those surveyed receive no specifics at all on services or local resources. Through their survey responses, veterans noted their preferred methods for receiving such information. The participants also detail their use of available services, including reasons for not taking advantage of certain programs. Finally, the study provides clear recommendations for improvements that local VA offices can implement regarding advertising/information distribution, administration and outreach, based on veterans’ specific suggestions. These recommendations are critical to the VA office’s ability to set achievable and measurable goals such as increasing awareness and attracting local veterans to its location within a defined period of time.