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Life After Service Survey 2016

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Life After Service Survey 2016

The Life After Service Studies (LASS) program of research is designed to further understand the transition experiences of Canadian Veterans as they move from military to civilian life. LASS partners are Veterans Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence /Canadian Armed Forces and Statistics Canada. The findings inform programs and services designed to support the well being of Canadian Veterans and their families. LASS 2016 expands on the earlier studies from 2010 and 2013. In 2016, 2755 Regular Force Veterans (released between 1998 and 2015 at post-entry rank) participated in a Statistics Canada telephone survey. Some initial findings are outlined below. Additional analysis will be covered in subsequent reports.

1) Adjustment to Civilian Life
Over half of Regular Force Veterans (52%) reported an easy adjustment to civilian life. However, 32% had difficulty. Factors associated with difficult adjustment included low rank at release, less than 10 years of service, unemployment and chronic health conditions.
2) Employment
In 2016, 65% of Regular Force Veterans were working. Their unemployment rate was similar to that of comparable Canadians (both about 8%). Of those who were working, 81% were satisfied with their job.
3) Low Income
At 4%, Veterans were much less likely than comparable Canadians (14%) to report low income (based on Statistics Canada’s Low Income Measure threshold). Most (69%) were satisfied with their finances.
4) Chronic Conditions More Common
Conditions like arthritis, back problems, depression, obesity, hearing problems and activity limitations were more preva-lent among Veterans than comparable Canadians. Veterans also reported chronic pain at much higher rates (41% vs 22%).
5) Effect of Release on Families
When asked about the effect their release had on the family, most Veterans reported that the transition was easy for their children (60%) and their partner (57%). However, a difficult adjustment was reported for 17% of children and 28% of partners.
6) Snapshot of Characteristics
Mean Age = 48
Male/Female = 88% / 12%
Married/Common Law = 77%
Mean Years since Release = 8.6
Served <10 years = 31%
Served 20+ years = 54%
Had deployed = 74%
Satisfied with Life = 84%

Info Brief Reference (Life After Service Survey 2016):

VanTil L, Sweet J, Thompson JM, Poirier A, McKinnon K, Sudom K, Dursun S, Pedlar D. Well-Being of Canadian Regular Force Veterans, Findings from the LASS 2016 Survey. Charlottetown PE: Research Directorate, Veterans Affairs Canada. Research Directorate Technical Report. June 2017.

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