Serving Rural Veterans with Disabilities: A National Survey of Centers for Independent Living

J Community Health. 2021 Aug;46(4):740-751. doi: 10.1007/s10900-020-00941-6. Epub 2020 Nov 6.


This study comprises a systematic national examination of how Centers for Independent Living can and do support Veteran consumers, especially those living in rural communities. This research provides contextualized understanding of rural Veteran needs for community-based services and resources available through Centers for Independent Living. A survey was administered to the leadership of 383 Centers for Independent Living throughout the United States, the majority of which have rural catchment areas and serve rural Veterans through both main and satellite offices. Descriptive univariate analysis was used to describe responses. Study respondents represented a total of 39 states, with 20% of respondents reporting that their consumers were 100% rural and only 3% entirely urban. Services and supports from Centers for Independent Living provided to rural Veterans most frequently included housing, transportation, and peer support. Approximately half of all Centers for Independent Living reported tracking the status of their Veteran consumers.

Keywords: Community integration; Health resources; Psychosocial support systems; Rural populations; Veterans health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Disabled Persons*
  • Humans
  • Independent Living
  • Rural Population
  • United States
  • United States Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Veterans*