Why are wounded veterans less likely to qualify for government housing?

In 2013, the radiant smile that once proudly coupled with Joshua Erickson’s Army uniform was replaced with a prosthetic leg and pain management after he left the United States military.

“I stepped on an [improvised explosive device] in Afghanistan,” he said. “They had to amputate it — left leg below the knee.”

Two years after getting out, Erickson found himself homeless, living on the streets for nearly eight years. It made scheduling medical appointments and counseling sessions for PTSD. 

“I just get around on foot, public transportation or bike — when I had one,” Erickson said. 

A decade after leaving the Army, he moved into a 64-square-foot shed on the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus. The agency possesses more than 200 apartments, with more being built. However, Erickson, like many other wounded veterans, are locked out of government-funded housing because they receive too much disability compensation.

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