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Veterans with a traumatic brain injury more likely to be jobless

Those who serve the country through military service often make sacrifices that are unimaginable by the civilian population. Many of those who have returned from the conflicts overseas in the past several years have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Now, thousands of these veterans may need additional support to recover and move forward with their post-service lives. Some of these former servicemen and women reside in Massachusetts. 

According to recent research, more than 300,000 service members have returned with a brain injury over the past 14 years. These injuries are often the result of an IED (Improvised Explosive Device), car accident or other combat-related incidents involving blunt-force trauma. Unfortunately, many of these wounded soldiers also find it difficult to obtain gainful employment. Returning vets are unemployed at much higher rates than the general population.

Those with mild injuries apparently do not experience the same difficulties in securing employment as those diagnosed with a moderate to severe brain injury. In addition, those with more serious injuries also appear to have other illnesses, including mental health illnesses such as anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. Researchers with Boston University noted that up to 45 percent of returning veterans with a brain injury are unable to find employment.

The results highlight the importance of providing more support for those who have suffered a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury in order to help them reintegrate themselves back into society and the job market. However, many civilian residents of Massachusetts may also be struggling to recover and cope with life after a serious brain injury. If the injury was a result of negligence on the part of another party, then the victim or authorized representative may elect to seek monetary compensation for the financial damages that understandably accompany these incapacitating wounds.

Source: bu.edu, "Multifaceted Approach Needed to Help Brain-Injured Vets", Lisa Chedekel, Nov. 11, 2014

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