About the Study


While many organizations are working to provide services to the military and veteran community, little comprehensive information exists about the health, employment, and other needs of these service members and veterans. This RAND study explored the needs of Massachusetts veterans, service members, and their families around health and healthcare, education, employment, housing, and other areas, to provide a better understanding of how these needs vary by region, demographics, and socio-economic factors.

This study involved a survey of military veterans and service members, interviews and focus groups with the Massachusetts military community, analysis of national and state-level data on veterans and service members living in Massachusetts, as well as a qualitative assessment of the programs and resources available to veterans, service members, and their families within the state.

Results from this study will inform the development of services that meet the needs of Massachusetts veterans, service members, and military families.


Specifically, the goals of this needs assessment were to:

  • identify and analyze existing sources of data on the characteristics of service members and veterans living in Massachusetts, including sociodemographics, health status, service experience, use of services, and other factors;
  • collect and analyze data related to the health, employment, educational, and social needs of service members, veterans and their families in Massachusetts;
  • catalogue existing benefits, services, and related resources in Massachusetts for veterans, service members, and their families; and,
  • develop a tool to visualize the findings, which can be used by stakeholders in the state to inform the allocation of resources and coordinate services across organizations.


RAND collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services and the Massachusetts Inter-Service Family Assistance Committee, which encompasses Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve Military & Family Programs. RAND also coordinated with veteran service organizations and other stakeholders in the state.

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Carrie Farmer, Ph.D. and Terri Tanielian, M.A. conducted this study within RAND Health. Funded by the Klarman Family Foundation, the study concluded in early 2017.