A young veteran dressed in camouflage focuses on the camera while an American flag hangs in the background

Research Center

ALICE In Focus Series

Veterans in Financial Hardship

Because U.S. military veterans have served and sacrificed for this country, there is a national sense of responsibility to ensure that their basic needs are met. And overall, veterans have fared better economically than nonveterans. Yet not everyone has been included in that trend: In 2019, a substantial 4.6 million veterans — 27% — still struggled to make ends meet across the U.S.

According to the outdated Federal Poverty Level (FPL), 6% of veterans in the U.S. lived in poverty in 2019. But United For ALICE data shows that another 21% — more than three times as many — were also struggling, in households that earned above the FPL but less than what it costs to afford the basics. These households are ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

Combining families in poverty and those who are ALICE, more than one-quarter (27%) of all veterans lived in a household with income below the ALICE Threshold in 2019, struggling to afford essentials in the communities where they lived.

The tabs below offer a more detailed view of veterans experiencing financial hardship.

Committees for ALICE in Focus: Veteran

Members of the following committees advised in the creation and presentation of materials for ALICE in Focus: Veterans. Committee members represent a range of organizations including academic institutions, advocacy groups, research organizations, and government agencies, and were invited to participate based on their expertise in issues related to veterans and financial hardship.

ALICE in Focus National Leadership Committee for Veterans


ALICE in Focus National Research Advisory Committee for Veterans