About 1 in 7 adult Alaskans is a military veteran, and veterans are eligible for federal and state services ranging from health care to special license plates. A new report, Alaska Veterans Needs Assessment, describes how much veterans know about the available services and what improvements they’d like to see in service delivery. The report authors are ISER researchers Mouhcine Guettabi, an assistant professor of economics, and Rosyland Frazier, a research associate.
They did the research for the Alaska Office of Veterans Affairs, and their findings are based on survey responses of nearly 600 veterans; focus groups of women veterans and disabled veterans; and interviews with people in organizations that help veterans apply for services. They found that veterans want less delay and more help in enrolling for benefits, as well as more frequent and easily accessible information about the available benefits—and any changes in benefits. But they want that information tailored to younger and older veterans and to men and women veterans, who have different needs. Veterans suggested that agencies hold seminars to explain specific benefits, send monthly or quarterly electronic newsletters, and make it simpler to find specific benefit information on federal and state web sites.