Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Posts Tagged ‘DBA Insurance’

Thank You Veterans

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on November 11, 2012

Thank you to all who served 

With a special thank you to those who served again

and were sold out to

AIG, CNA, and ACE

by the US Government

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Racketeering, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Suicides and Mental Trauma of Family Members

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 22, 2012

Civilian Contractors Families have no family support system, no family counseling, plus often the added stress of no medical care and/or disability payments for years on end

Is it a wonder that most DBA Casualty Families are destroyed?

“…we are still discovering, still revealing, fissures and cracks in the family support system.”

Global Research  August 22, 2012

Seven months ago, in December, 2011, Brian Arredondo, age 24, hanged himself in a shed in his mother’s backyard. Brian was the brother of US Marine Corps Lance Corporal Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in Iraq in 2004. For seven years Brian had had difficulties dealing with the death of his brother.

Brian, like so many military brothers, sisters, spouses, children and parents, fell into the depths of depression following the death of his brother.

These difficulties in coping with his brother’s death played out in Brian in his depression, dropping out of school, using alcohol and drugs, being in and out of drug rehab facilities, in continuing incidents with police for disorderly conduct and finally in suicide.

Please read the entire article here

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Delay, Deny, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, PTSD and TBI, Toxic Exposures | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nation in a State: Meals ready, on America’s frontline pressure cooker

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on February 16, 2012

Youth from Odaipatti village in Tamil Nadu risk their lives to work as cooks in U.S. forward military bases.  It’s no cakewalk

Their pay did not include medical or life insurance, neither was there any clarity about compensation in case of death. That they could be summarily removed — sometimes with just three hours notice — in case of a health problem or vision difficulty was something the young men did not know about before taking up their jobs.

The Hindu February 16, 2012

Odaipatti may not be aware of it but the far-flung village, tucked away in the foothills of Megamalai in southwestern Tamil Nadu, has played a substantive role in subsidising U.S. war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan. For many years, this fertile village, along with neighbouring Govindanagaram, has provided an army of formally trained bakers, cooks, and other catering specialists to various U.S. military bases in active combat zones for salaries from as low as $550 to $700 a month.

Bharathkumar Sekar is only 25 years old, but he is already a two-war veteran. He served as a head baker at the U.S. Forward Operative Base Kalsu, located in Iskandariya, Iraq, and later at Kandahar in Afghanistan. The equally young B. Thangaraj managed dining halls at U.S. army camps in Kirkush, Iraq, before moving to Helmand in Afghanistan.

E. Srinivasan, K. Manikandan … the list is long. Villagers tell me that by now more than 100 youth from the two villages have worked at military camps either in Iraq or Afghanistan or both, and those with the right qualifications continue to be recruited by U.S. military contractors.

“We knew we were taking risks. There were many rocket attacks inside our army camps. At times rockets even landed on top of my kitchen, Bharathkumar said, explaining that “it was bombproof.”

Please read the entire article here

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Insurance, Dyncorp | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

War Widow Blames VA Neglect for her Husband’s Suicide

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 18, 2011

Sadly this reads like so many  Defense Base Act  PTSD Suicides, Neglect and unreasonable demands….

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. Courthouse News   October 18, 2011

Neglect and unreasonable demands from the Veterans Administration caused another Iraq war veteran to kill himself,

his widow claims in Federal Court. She says that despite a doctor’s “clear diagnosis” of post-traumatic stress disorder, from roadside bombs, including one that killed 93 people, the VA refused to admit he suffered from PTSD, with excuses such as “the diagnosis ‘does not specify which Diagnostic and Statistical Manual was used’”; and that he “‘failed to provide dates of the incidents or names of any casualties.’”
Tracy Eiswert says her husband Scott suffered substandard care from the VA hospital in Mountain Home, Tenn., before he killed himself in 2008. He was 31. She survives, with their two young children.
It’s the latest in a string of lawsuits from families of veterans nationwide, who say the VA was less than helpful after veterans returned from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The VA in July 2010 relaxed requirements for veterans seeking service-connected PTSD benefits, but the agency still faces criticism for its mental health services.
The 9th Circuit ruled this year in a California class action that the “VA’s failure to provide adequate procedures for veterans facing prejudicial delays in the delivery of mental health care violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment,” according to Tracy Eiswert’s complaint.
Scott Eiswert joined the National Guard in 2001 and served in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.

Tracy Eiswert says her husband first sought help for his symptoms after he was honorably discharged in November 2005.
She says Scott saw a professional counselor at a private mental health facility in Greeneville for almost 4 months. Scott’s symptoms included depression, acute insomnia, extreme stress and irritability, according to medical records described in the complaint.
His counselor recommended individual psychotherapy and reported to Scott’s physician that he “certainly appears to meet the criteria for PTSD,” the complaint states.
According to the medical records, in May 2006, Scott’s counselor wrote a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs, stating: “After meeting with Mr. Eiswert for several appointments, we have established a diagnosis of PTSD, per the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual Criteria.”
The widow says her husband applied to the VA for service-connected PTSD benefits based on the counselor’s diagnosis.
The complaint states:
“In the application Scott describes a number of incidents in Iraq as follows:
“Various Route Clearances – Roadside Bombs, Raids
“Convoy Escorts, all the Outside Wire Dangers and Stresses.
“Close Calls on Roadside Bombs
“Car Bombs and the Destruction they Cause, Including Civilian Fatalities (Body Parts)
“‘I was on a Raid with Fellow Soldiers when they got Blown-Up by a Massive Roadside Bomb. (93 Dead, 1 Crippled)” [Punctuation as in complaint.]
But the VA denied his claims three times before he killed himself, his widow says.
In its September 2006 denial, the VA stated that Scott’s counselor “does not specify which Diagnostic and Statistical Manual was used.’ The denial analysis also states that even though Scott provided ‘sufficient details concerning a stressor …’ it ‘failed to provide dates of the incidents or names of any casualties.’” (Ellipsis in complaint).
Tracy Eiswert says the VA doctor who assessed Scott did not have access to the records of Scott’s private counselor and “relied entirely on Scott’s narrative to make his assessment.” She says the VA doctor “concluded that ‘veteran has current diagnosis of depression, NOS. He does describe symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, however not enough to meet criteria.’”
(NOS apparently indicates “not otherwise specified.”)
The VA denied Scott’s claim a second time in November 2006, after receiving additional medical records from the Tennessee National Guard.
Tracy Eiswert says VA doctors gave Scott medications for depression and insomnia, but he did not tolerate them well.
By early 2007, Scott reported increased marital and family problems, increased irritability, nightmares, night sweats and difficulty sleeping, according to medical records in the complaint

Please read the entire story at Courthouse News

Posted in AIG and CNA, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Medical Examinations, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, PTSD and TBI, Suicide, Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Defense Base Act Insurance Company CNA may owe US Government as much as $58.5 million

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 28, 2011

An alarming story of greed, negligence, and a lack of government oversight.

July 28, 2011

SIGAR Audit-11-15 Contract Performance and Oversight / Defense Base Act Insurance

SIGAR audited a pilot program in which CNA was contracted to provide DBA Insurance for US Army Corps of Engineers contracts.

So this $58.5 million was overcharged in a very small portion of the DBA business that CNA carries.

Basically CNA overcharged, didn’t reimburse USACE and contractors for labor charges that turned out not to be justified,  did not have proper paperwork in place and accounting procedures to allow DCAA to be able to look at their books and determine who was owed what.

CNA also commingled funds meant to be segregated for different contracts, lumping them all into one account.

The workers’ compensation program is so riddled with problems as a result of using a third-party insurer that the inspector general’s office suggests it may be worthwhile to dump the insurer altogether, the audit reads.

See Also

Problems abound in US government insurance program

Audit finds numerous problems in workers’ comp program for US contractors in Afghanistan

Army Corps Overpaid CNA $10 Million on War Insurance: Audit

Propublica coverage of CNA’s  treatment of Contractors

How CNA treats Foreign Claimants

Posted in Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Follow the Money, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Class Action Tax Misclassification filed against Xe, Formerly Blackwater

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 7, 2011

Scott Bloch blasts Blackwater on behalf of thousands of former employees who were mistreated and denied employee benefits, unemployment and other withholding based on a fraudulent misclassification as independent contractors.

Mercadante et al vs Xe Services, LLC et al

    Statement Concerning Filing of Class Action Tax  Misclassification Against Xe Services (formerly Blackwater) on
 Behalf of Personal Security Specialists for Loss of Benefits and Withholding

WASHINGTON, DC (June 7, 2011) –

Since 2007, Blackwater Industries, which has changed its name to Xe Services, has employed over 10,000 personal security specialists to perform operations in Iraq and Afghanistan under lucrative contracts with departments of the United States Government including the State Department and CIA.

While employing these individuals, many of whom are decorated veterans of the armed services including Special Forces, Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Blackwater sought to avoid millions of dollars in taxes, withholding, and payments of benefits to these employees by classifying them improperly as independent contractors.

Yesterday, Scott Bloch filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of four former security specialists, who were injured while working for Blackwater, in order to recover their payment of social security, unemployment insurance, and unpaid benefits and state and local withholding and unemployment insurance, and other unspecified damages.  The action is brought on their own behalf and thousands of others who have worked for Blackwater and its newly named Xe Services.

The action seeks $60,000,000 in damages and punitive damages, as well as additional amounts as proved for the class of specialists.

“These brave individuals who worked in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Afghani Enduring Freedom, deserve better than to be turned away without health insurance, pension benefits, unemployment benefits, and other withholding afforded to Blackwater’s other
employees,” said Scott Bloch.

According to the lawsuit, the United States treasury loses billions of dollars annually to misclassified employees.     Under the commonlaw and the IRS 20 questions put out in 1987 pursuant to a regulation, Blackwater was obliged to classify these individuals as employees if Blackwater had the right to control the employees’ actions, manner of performing duties,  hours, training, equipment, whether the duties of the employees go to a core function of the employer or are duties that are consider ancillary to the main purpose of the company, and other factors.

The lawsuit states that Blackwater provided their equipment, including weapons issued by the government, training, and control over employees’ duties, manner of performing their security  duties, operations they went on, protection details and other duties.

“These veterans were actually given diplomatic passports and classified as employees of Blackwater to the United States government in the contracts as they procured insurance required for employees, and also represented to the State Department that they were
employees,” said Bloch in a statement upon filing, “yet when it came to paying taxes, paying  their employer portion of social security and Medicare taxes that all Americans expect their employers to pay, they simply claimed they were independent contractors.”

The suit also states that one of the representative plaintiffs already had a determination from the IRS that Blackwater misclassified him as an independent contractor.  “The IRS already  determined in the case of one of my clients that he should have been classified as an
employee,“ said Bloch.  “Now thousands of people will have to file amended returns.   Thousands of people will likely be entitled to benefits they were denied due to the misclassification, including payment of their employer share of pension, health and disability
insurance premiums, and other plans that Blackwater filed with the government for its employees, promising it would not discriminate against those employees as they did here.”

In addition, claims the suit, the United States Congress previously held hearings under the Oversight and Government Reform committee, Rep. Henry Waxman, Chair, which determined that Blackwater and its related companies misclassified employees in order to avoid millions of dollars in taxes. In addition, the IRS prior to making the determination on the plaintiff in this suit, had ruled on behalf of other Blackwater security specialists, and related job titles, that Blackwater had misclassified these employees who performed services under contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Blackwater made hundreds of millions of dollars from taxpayers and hired thousands of former veterans of military service and police officers.  They also had in their ranks Federal Agents, such as current employees of the FBI on leave of absence. They were hired as security specialists in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Bloch. “It is a grave injustice to them who were  mistreated and left without any health insurance or other benefits for their families, and left to fend for themselves in paying into Social Security and Medicare.  They laid down their lives to protect dignitaries and carry out duties in support of wars for America, and they deserve better than this. Many of these same men risked their lives to protect everyone from the President of the United States to U.S. Senators, Congressman, U.S. Diplomats, to Foreign Presidential & Diplomatic Figures in one of the most dangerous places on the planet.”

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and covers individuals from all over the United States and some Americans living abroad, including all former and current Blackwater and Xe employees and so-called independent contractors.

Contact Scott J. Bloch, PA:
Scott Bloch, 202-496-1290

Law Offices of Scott J Bloch Website

Posted in Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Political Watch, State Department, Taxes, Xe | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

How much does an Independent Medical Examination Cost?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on May 10, 2011

An Independent Medical Examination as ordered by the Department of Labor or a Defense Medical Examination (Second Opinion) are paid for by the insurance company.

We’ve not yet seen or heard of anyone going to an Independent Medical Examination as ordered by the DoL according to the LHWCA/DBA.  There are guidelines to be followed for an Independent Medical Examination which ensure that the doctors are not insurance company regulars.

We have seen paperwork on DME’s on DBA Casualties starting at $800 and going up to $1,200 per DME.

Expensive for a single examination it would seem.  Often done offsite of the Doctors regular office if they even have one.

And the ante goes up if your exercise your right to have the examination videographed.   We do not mean the charges you will incur for the videographer.   The added charges are more like “risk coverage” or a deterrant to keep the injured from ensuring that the examination is fair.

Your DME is much more than simply the unbiased second opinion that it is represented to be.

The DME Doctor is an expert witness for the insurance company.

They may be asked to submit to a Deposition under oath or to testify in person on behalf of the insurance company for which they will be paid even larger sums.

The IME/DME business is a very lucrative one for those Doctors who choose to do them.

The Insurance Companies can afford them.

Injured Contractors and/or their attorneys are seldom in a financial position to deal with DME’s properly.

This is why so many of you are sent to DME’s by your very own lawyers with no advocate or videographer present even though these costs are legitimate expenses which would have to be reimbursed.

This is ONE reason why the Dr Griffith’s of the DBA have been utilized repeatedly even after being exposed under oath in depositions.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Defense Medical Examinations, Department of Labor, Independent Medical Examinations, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Racketeering | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Fallen Soldiers’ Families Denied Cash as Insurers Profit

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 29, 2010

“It’s a betrayal. It saddens me as an American that a company would stoop so low as to make a profit on the death of a soldier. Is there anything lower than that?”

Yes Cindy we understand.  AIG, CNA, ACE, Zurich and more are also War Profiteers and should be prosecuted as such.

By David Evans at Bloomberg

The package arrived at Cindy Lohman’s home in Great Mills, Maryland, just two weeks after she learned that her son, Ryan, a 24-year-old Army sergeant, had been killed by a bomb in Afghanistan. It was a thick, 9-inch-by- 12-inch envelope from Prudential Financial Inc., which handles life insurance for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Inside was a letter from Prudential about Ryan’s $400,000 policy. And there was something else, which looked like a checkbook. The letter told Lohman that the full amount of her payout would be placed in a convenient interest-bearing account, allowing her time to decide how to use the benefit.

“You can hold the money in the account for safekeeping for as long as you like,” the letter said. In tiny print, in a disclaimer that Lohman says she didn’t notice, Prudential disclosed that what it called its Alliance Account was not guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its September issue.

Lohman, 52, left the money untouched for six months after her son’s August 2008 death.

“It’s like you’re paying me off because my child was killed,” she says. “It was a consolation prize that I didn’t want.”

As time went on, she says, she tried to use one of the “checks” to buy a bed, and the salesman rejected it. That happened again this year, she says, when she went to a Target store to purchase a camera on Armed Forces Day, May 15.

‘I’m Shocked’

Lohman, a public health nurse who helps special-needs children, says she had always believed that her son’s life insurance funds were in a bank insured by the FDIC. That money — like $28 billion in 1 million death-benefit accounts managed by insurers — wasn’t actually sitting in a bank.

It was being held in Prudential’s general corporate account, earning investment income for the insurer. Prudential paid survivors like Lohman 1 percent interest in 2008 on their Alliance Accounts, while it earned a 4.8 percent return on its corporate funds, according to regulatory filings.

“I’m shocked,” says Lohman, breaking into tears as she learns how the Alliance Account works. “It’s a betrayal. It saddens me as an American that a company would stoop so low as to make a profit on the death of a soldier. Is there anything lower than that?”

Millions of bereaved Americans have unwittingly been placed in the same position by their insurance companies. The practice of issuing what they call “checkbooks” to survivors, instead of paying them lump sums, extends well beyond the military.

You’ll want to read the entire story here if you can stomach it

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Follow the Money, Political Watch, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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