Explaining the Increase in Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers During the Global War on Terror

by David S. Loughran, Jacob Alex Klerman


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The Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Servicemembers (UCX) program provides income assistance to unemployed veterans as they search for work. Between 2002 and 2004, the number of veterans claiming UCX increased by about 75 percent, raising concerns that veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having difficulty transitioning to the civilian labor market. This report draws on data from the Department of Labor and the individual military services to examine the reasons for the increase in the UCX caseload. These include the intensive use of the reserve components in the Global War on Terror, which has led to large numbers of reserve personnel becoming eligible to claim UCX; longer deployments, which are linked to poorer health and increased UCX claim rates; and significant numbers of reserve personnel choosing not to return to their pre-activation jobs. Loughran and Klerman discuss these issues and their implications for the UCX program.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Trends in the UCX Caseload

  • Chapter Three

    The Effect of Eligibility and Claim Rates on the UCX Caseload

  • Chapter Four

    The Effect of Deployment Duration and Post-Deployment Health on UCX Claim Rates

  • Chapter Five

    The Pre- and Post-Activation Employment Experiences of UCX Recipients

  • Chapter Six


  • Appendix A

    A Brief Description of the UI and UCX Programs

  • Appendix B

    Form DD 2796

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense-Reserve Affairs and conducted within the Forces and Resources Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

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