Connecticut among the worst states for military retirees - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Connecticut among the worst states for military retirees

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal discussions a bill to end veteran homelessness in Hartford Monday. (WFSB photo) Sen. Richard Blumenthal discussions a bill to end veteran homelessness in Hartford Monday. (WFSB photo)

It may be Military Appreciation Month, but a survey called Connecticut one of the worst states for military retirees.

The personal finance website ranked the state as the sixth worst in the country.

Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, WalletHub said Connecticut ranked:

  • 44th in number of veterans per capita
  • 47th in number of Veterans Affairs health facilities per number of veterans
  • 42nd in housing affordability
  • 31st in percentage of veteran-owned businesses
  • 32nd in number of Veterans Affairs Benefits-Administration facilities per number of veterans
  • 46th in cost-of-living index
  • 48th in WalletHub “tax rates” ranking
  • 37th in “recommendability of veteran hospitals”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he's calling for urgent legislative initiatives in the Veterans First Act meant to end veteran homelessness.

Blumenthal, who is a ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, said the legislation would:

  • Expand assistance to veterans fleeing domestic violence
  • Establish case management programs for veterans most at-risk of homelessness
  • Authorize new legal service partnerships
  • Provide enhanced assistance to states like Connecticut seeking to maintain functional zero on veterans homelessness

“The new initiatives in our Veterans First measure offer breakthrough advances in ending veterans homelessness, especially for Connecticut and other states committed to common sense, effective steps," Blumenthal said. "We must strive to not only provide shelter and temporary housing, but also permanent homes for our nation’s heroes. No veteran should slip between the cracks to become homeless—and these measures will help prevent as well as solve underlying causes."

The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs overwhelmingly approved the initiatives as part of the S. 2921, Veterans First Act, which also will change the culture at VA and to demand a higher level of accountability from the 335,000-employee department.

Marine Corps veteran Gregory Bethea didn't always know where he would lay his head at night.

"Almost three years. It was like being in the war again," Bethea said.

His luck changed when he was the first to move into Cosgrove Commons in Hartford last fall.

"It's been comfortable, a lot of offers here and that's great," he said.

The new facility is on Wethersfield Avenue and houses up to 18 veterans, along with six young adults. Everyone has a fully furnished apartment so veterans can concentrate on getting back on their feet.

Blumenthal said he is looking to end homelessness and hopes legislators approve the Veterans First Act.

WalletHub said retirement means something different to members of the military.

The average officer is only 47 years old when they retire. When they do, they deal with the trials of transitioning back to civilian life.

For many, that can be difficult. Researchers said that's evident by rising rates of veteran hardship and homelessness.

For its study, WalletHub said it looked at 20 metrics that included the number of veterans per capita, number of VA health facilities per 10,000 veterans and job opportunities for veterans.

The top three states for veterans were Alaska, South Dakota and Montana.

The three worst were Oregon, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Source: WalletHub

To see the complete results of the study, head to WalletHub's website here.

To view the full slideshow on your mobile device, click here

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