Disabilities & Veterans

What is a Disability?

According to the CDC, a disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions). Although “people with disabilities” sometimes refers to a single population, this is actually a diverse group of people with a wide range of needs. Two people with the same type of disability can be affected in very different ways. Some disabilities may be hidden or not easy to see.

According to the World Health Organization, disability has three dimensions:

1. Impairment in a person's body structure or function, or mental functioning; examples of impairments include loss of a limb, loss of vision or memory loss.

2. Activity limitation, such as difficulty seeing, hearing, walking, or problem solving.

3. Participation restrictions in normal daily activities, such as working, engaging in social and recreational activities, and obtaining healthcare and preventative services.   

Ensuring that individuals with functional and access needs have those needs met at the community level is an essential step to ensuring health equity.

American Community Survey 2013-2017

There are many services in the Greater Nashua Public Health Region (GNPHR) for individuals with disabilities and substance use disorders (SUD). These services range from counseling, inpatient and outpatient services, as well as transitional and permanent supportive housing. Sometimes, individuals do not access available services and family members struggle caring for individuals suffering from such issues. Knowledge about these services and accessibility are key components to individuals receiving the care they need to improve upon any disabling conditions and move towards a safer, healthier and more productive life.

Disabilities and Veterans Data Overview

Check out the points below for the main takeaways from this page. 

• In New Hampshire, 20% of the population has some type of mobility disability, and about half of those individuals are veterans. 

•  Between 2014 and 2018, according to the US Census, over 5k individuals identified in Nashua were Veterans. There are many services in the GNPHR for Veterans.

• In Hillsborough County, 34% of veterans are veterans solely of the Vietnam era. 

• In Nashua, there are approximately 270 veterans with a disability rating of 10-20%, 150 veterans with a disability rating of 50-60%, and 170 veterans with a disability rating of 70% or higher. The disability rating  represents how much the disability decreases a veteran's overall health and ability to function. 

Veterans

Veterans are a unique population with unique public health and healthcare needs. Veterans are at an increased risk of experiencing mental health disorders, substance use disorders, post-traumatic stress, and traumatic brain injuries compared to their civilian counterparts. Between 2014 and 2018, according to the US Census, over 5k individuals identified in Nashua were Veterans. There are many services in the GNPHR for Veterans. These services range from physical and mental health services to transitional and permanent supportive housing. Some services revolve around mental health and substance use disorders. Other resources include supports for education and employment. Knowledge about these services and accessibility are key components to Veteran individuals and families receiving the support they need to reduce barriers and move towards a safer, healthier, and more productive life.

                      American Community Survey 2013-2017

Period of Military Service

A veteran's period of military service gives us insight into the type of exposures they may have experienced while in active duty. For example, veterans from the Vietnam Era may have increased exposure to the chemical dioxin (agent orange) when compared with veterans from other periods of military service. 

Disability Rating

A disability rating is assigned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs based on the severity of a veteran's disability. This rating is expressed as a percentage, representing how much the disability decreases a veteran's overall health and ability to function. 

This rating is then used to determine a veteran's disability compensation rate. 

Health Equity & Disabilities/Veterans

A person's health can be seriously impacted by their race, ethnicity, gender, income level, education, and other socioeconomic factors. In regards to disabilities and veterans...

• Among Veterans ages 18 to 44 in 2014, the most common diagnosed condition was past-traumatic stress disorder with the highest rates among American Indian/Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander patients (va.gov).

• African Americans are more likely than Non-Hispanic Whites to have a disability in every age group (National Disability Institute).


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