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Posts Tagged ‘Defense Base Act Insurance’

Untreated PTSD Endangers Families and Others-Donald Henson a result of AIG’s Deadly Mistreatment of Injured Contractors

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on October 19, 2012

Accused Saco gunman had raised red flags

The man’s wife had gotten a protection order and police saw disturbing signs before Tuesday’s standoff.

Perhaps AIG and their claims adjusters, and their  attorneys should be arrested for this

Portland Press Herald

BIDDEFORD — The wife of a Saco man accused of shooting at her and her mother and burning a house down Tuesday had secured a protection-from-abuse order against him on Monday.

Donald A. Henson, 47, was arrested Tuesday night after a three-hour standoff with police at his mother-in-law’s house at 645 Goodwin Mills Road in Dayton. He is charged with aggravated attempted murder, arson and terrorizing.

Police say he shot at his wife and mother-in-law and set two houses and a pickup truck on fire.

Henson made his initial court appearance Wednesday in Biddeford District Court. Justice Paul Fritzsche did not ask him to enter a plea. Henson was being held in the York County Jail on $250,000 cash bail.

Prosecutors had requested $100,000 bail. Fritzsche said he raised it because of Henson’s “incredibly dangerous behavior.”

Henson did not speak during his arraignment. B.J. Broder, the lawyer representing him, said Henson has post-traumatic stress disorder and is disabled.

Broder said Henson was injured in Iraq in 2009 while working as a civilian contractor and it appears that he doesn’t understand his rights because of his mental state.

In an email sent Tuesday morning to Biddeford District Court, a Saco Police Department representative said officers were concerned about Henson’s potential for “homicidal/suicidal” actions

Please read the entire story here

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, Iraq, Melt Down, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

14 killed in Afghanistan suicide attacks targeting foreigners includes Eight South Africans

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 18, 2012

CBS/AP KABUL, Afghanistan

Two separate suicide attacks in Afghanistan – both aimed at foreign workers or military forces, left at least 14 civilians dead and three U.S. troops wounded on Tuesday, according to Afghan officials.

The wreck of tje minibus in which eight South African airport contractors were killed in the suicide blast. Photograph: Keystone USA-Zuma/Rex Features

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan, ISAF, confirmed only that a suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest attacked in the Kunar province’s Watahpur district, wounding three foreign troops.

A senior Afghan security official tells CBS News that the bomber walked into a group of American soldiers and local residents who had gathered for a ceremony launching work on a new bridge. He said the ISAF troops wounded were Americans, and an Afghan civilian was also killed in the blast.

Earlier Tuesday, a suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into a mini-bus carrying foreign aviation workers to the airport in the Afghan capital, killing at least 13 people in an attack that a militant group said was revenge for an anti-Islam film that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad.

A senior Kabul police official tells CBS News the dead include eight South Africans, four Afghan nationals and one person from Kyrgyzstan. Many of the victims were employees of an aviation company, including pilots. Two sources have told CBS News separately that the victims of the attack worked for a company contracted to fly U.S. State Department staff within Afghanistan, Aviation Charter Solutions (ACS),

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Injured Contractors, USAID | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a 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 »

Family of Daniel Saville still fighting for Defense Base Act Death Benefits

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 20, 2012

The family has also been told that Global Security, the company he was working for at the time, had refused to pay out his life insurance

Telegraph and Argus August 20, 2012

Family Battles for Truth About Fatal Plane Crash Two Years On

The family of a soldier turned bodyguard who was killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan more than two years ago is still battling for a full explanation as to what led to the disaster.

Rebecca Lake, said her family was being “kept in the dark” despite an on-going fight for justice for her brother Daniel Saville, 40, a former Coldstream guard, who was among three Britons who perished when Pamir Airways Flight 1102 crashed north of Kabul, Afghanistan, on May 17, 2010.

Mr Saville, who grew up in Wilsden , Haworth and Allerton , Bradford, had been only a few weeks away from his return to Britain from working as a private security contractor for a US government agency trying to combat the cultivation of heroin.

A damning official report blaming the failure of the aircraft’s captain and Afghan air traffic control for causing the disaster has been obtained from the Foreign Office by the Telegraph & Argus using the Freedom of Information Act.

But Mrs Lake, 45, of Clayton Heights , Bradford, has made a fresh plea to the authorities to keep her family fully informed of developments as lawyers continue a compensation battle in the US for the British victims of the doomed plane which had been flying on false documents.

She said that, despite investigations in the war-torn country, it had been “difficult” for the Afghan authorities to fully investigate and bring to justice those who were to blame for causing her brother’s death.

The family has also been told that Global Security, the company he was working for at the time, had refused to pay out his life insurance.

Please read the entire article here

Posted in Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Follow the Money, UK Contractor killed | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Army Wants PTSD Clinicians to Stop Screening for Fakers: Chances are they are probably ailing

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on August 3, 2012

While even the military realizes the dangers of delaying and denying PTSD Diagnoses and Treatment

The Defense Base Act Insurance Companies and their Overly Zealous Defense continue to brutally delay and deny diagnoses and treatment of PTSD to injured war zone contractors, most having served their country in the military.

In fact they are still allowed to force PTSD patients to undergo psychological  interrogation by the infamous Dr John Dorland Griffith who has been discredited over and over again, and falsely accused injured war zone contractors of malingering.  Many PTSD claims were denied based on his paid in cash testimony.

In case after case treatable PTSD becomes a chronic lifelong condition, destroying lives, shredding families.

Ultimately costing taxpayers and our society as a whole much more in the long run but provide more profits for the insurer and ever more fees for attorneys on both side of this boondoggle.

The Department of Labor presented policy five years requiring PTSD Claims to be expedited but the policy was never implemented.

Wired’s Danger Room

In a big reversal, the Army has issued a stern new set of guidelines to doctors tasked with diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among returning soldiers. Stop spending so much time trying to spot patients who are faking symptoms, the new guidelines instruct. Chances are, they’re actually ailing.

The 17-page document has yet to be made public but was described in some detail by the Seattle Times. In it, the Army Surgeon General’s Office specifically points out — and discredits — a handful of screening tests for PTSD that are widely used by military clinicians to diagnose a condition estimated to afflict at least 200,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

The Army Surgeon General finds great fault with a dense personality test popular with clinicians that ostensibly weeds out “malingerers,” as PTSD fakers are known.

But the results of what’s known as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Test are flawed, according to the report. PTSD sufferers often exhibit anxiety, insomnia, flashbacks and depression — all of which, some doctors believe, can be discounted under the test. The test devotes a large swath of questions to catching apparent exaggerations of symptom severity, seemingly inconsistent answers, or reported symptoms that don’t mesh with the typical signs associated with an illness.

“The report rejects the view that a patient’s response to hundreds of written test questions can determine if a soldier is faking symptoms,” the Seattle Times summarized. Where PTSD is concerned, that’s especially true. The condition is accompanied by symptoms that can differ markedly between patients: Some are hyperactive, others are lethargic; some exhibit frenetic rage while others are simply sullen and depressed.

“And,” the Times continued, “[the report] declares that poor test results ‘does not equate to malingering.’”

Those tests were the standard of care at Madigan Army Medical Center — which is a big deal. Located in Tacoma, Washington, Madigan isn’t just one of the military’s largest medical installations. It’s home to a forensic psychiatry team tasked with deciding whether soldiers diagnosed with PTSD were sick enough to qualify for medical retirement. In March, the Army launched an investigation of the Madigan team after Madigan’s screening procedures allegedly reversed 300 of the PTSD diagnoses among soldiers being evaluated.

The reversals resulted in some soldiers being diagnosed with “personality disorders” and others left with no diagnosis at all. Madigan allegedly used the tests to save money by limiting the number of patients who’d qualify for retirement. “

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, AWOL Medical Records, Chartis, 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, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Hope that I die, KBR, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Melt Down, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Suicide, Veterans, Veterans Affairs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Average Weekly Wage & Residual Earning Capacity in DBA Cases: Beware Adjuster Sleight of Hand

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 26, 2012

Guest Post by Doug Grauel, ESQ  July 26. 2012

DBA insurance companies scurry a lot.

They can’t seem to take a claim, look at it, make a reasoned statement of how they see it, and have a conversation about it. Instead they see a claim coming, so they scurry. The scurrying gets so fast it’s like watching a magician running a shell game. One of the favorite deceptions has to do with Average Weekly Wage (on the front end) or Residual Earning Capacity (sometimes called Residual Functional Capacity) on the back end.

Average Weekly Wage (AWW) is generally thought of as the rate of pay that an injured worker was making at the time that he or she was hurt. Section 10 of the Longshore Act tells you how to calculate AWW–sort of.  For most overseas war zone contractors,  AWW is the amount that you would have earned working at your regular, time-of-injury job for one year, divided by 52.  This means that you include overtime, hazard pay, and all the rest to your base pay, figure out what a “typical” year would have looked like, and divide by 52. Roughly. If you are unlucky enough to get hurt before you have worked a year, then there is issue of possible annual or completion bonuses. Workers who are hurt in the third year of overseas work, even if each year was a one-year stint, have stronger claims for higher wages than workers who get hurt six weeks after they arrive on base. It’s just how the world works.

Carriers love this simple trick:

Overseas contractors often earn enough that their DBA/Longshore compensation rate is the maximum. So if you’re an adjuster, do you bother to figure out the real AWW?   No way: You just say, “This year’s max is $1295.20. The comp rate is 2/3 AWW, which is the same as .666xAWW. So .666xAWW=$1295.20.  Therefore AWW=$1295.20/.666= $1944.74.” But $1944.74×52=$101,126.48.  Plenty of overseas contractors are making more than that if you include hazard pay, overtime, and so on.  So that AWW that the adjuster cooked up is too low. Why should you care, if you get the max rate anyway?

Here’s why: After you get a little medical treatment, suddenly the adjuster sends you a “Labor Market Survey,” claiming that you could be working at $12.00 an hour for 35 hours a week. That’s about $420 per week, or $21,840 per year. So now your comp benefits go down, because the carrier says your comp rate should be 2/3 of the difference between AWW at the time of injury ($1944.74) and your residual earning capacity ($420). $1944.74-$420=$1524.74. $1524.74x.666=$1015.48.

Presto: You lose $1295.20-$1015.48=$279.72 per week, or $14,545.44 per year.

All because the adjuster didn’t want to figure out what your real AWW should be.

Douglas Grauel, Esq. |

dgrauel@grauellaw.com | (603) 369-5010 | 15 N. Main St. Concord NH 03301 | http://www.grauellaw.com

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nine Years Ago Today, Still getting screwed over by CNA !

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on July 6, 2012

July 7, 2003

Nine years ago you get that phone call you hoped you’d never get

But hey they say, not to worry, the insurance company will take care of everything

Heart is breaking but not to worry

Everything, they say, will be OK

Good thing we’ve been paying for good medical insurance

No way of knowing that the “insurance” was Defense Base Act through CNA, a policy we had never heard of,  looked at, or signed for

Or that  Administrative Law Judge Paul C Johnson would deem his injuries to be alleged when denying him his rights under the DBA

One day we’ll look back at this and be so grateful for our blessings, for what we’ve overcome………

But one day never comes

What’s that in the way?

CNA 

CNA with the assistance of the Department of Labor District Office in Jacksonville

From failing to provide a medical evacuation and abandoning him to the military medical system to defaulting on the order to provide his medical care for nearly two years now after denying for six years.

CNA, their Claims Adjusters, their overly zealous legal representation, and the biased Department of Labor District Office have caused much more physical, mental, and financial  damage than there ever had to be. 

What should have been temporary disabilities have become permanent.

CNA has denied the looking back one day, the moving forward, the healing

If CNA had simply lived up to their responsibilities rather than playing paper games this family would have long moved on

And the US Taxpayers would not be paying ever more to the War Profiteers CNA and their “representation”

Documents showed that CNA reported the highest profits margins, taking in nearly 50 percent more in premiums than it paid out in benefits.

Posted in AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, DBA Attorneys Fees, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Attorneys, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Defense Base Act Lawyers, Delay, Deny, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Exclusive Remedy, Hope that I die, Interviews with Injured War Zone Contractors, Iraq, Leishmaniasis, Misjudgements, OALJ, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, Racketeering, Veterans | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Defense Base Act: What is a Settlement ?

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 21, 2012

A settlement is when the insurance company pays you a lump sum amount to close out your indemnity, your medical, or both.

It is only a settlement when you are paid a lump sum amount of money and you are done with the insurance company.

Nothing else is a settlement.

An agreement based on stipulations to pay you XX amount of money every month is not a settlement, your claim is not then settled.

And an agreement to provide your medical for your agreed upon injuries does not mean your medical is settled.  In fact it means you will continue to litigate

But these agreements do allow the Insurance Company to seek reimbursement under the War Hazards Act as though they were settled

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Chartis, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Liberty Mutual, Political Watch, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Injured Afghan Translator Now Refugee faces new issues

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 13, 2012

Mushfiq was taken to Bagram Airfield and treated at the American hospital. But just as quickly as he was rushed into the hospital, his employer, wanted to rush him out to a less costly hospital. “They tried to convince me to go to the Kabul hospital,” he said. “They even tried to sell the allure of flying in a helicopter to get to the hospital. If I had gone to the Kabul hospital, I would not have been protected. I was a target, too. That day I could have been murdered.”

Mission Essential Personnel said they do not make such decisions. “In this case, the transfer would have been handled by MEP’s insurance provider, Vetted International,” said the defense contractor’s spokesman, Sean Rushton. “We contacted Vetted and they said, Mr. Mushfiq ‘was NEVER at risk whilst in our care.’

Mushfiq said it was the U.S. military that helped him remain where he felt comfortable long enough to heal, and also stepped in to assist him in getting prosthetic legs. He returned home but was targeted as a traitor and a Kafir.

In July 2009, Mission Essential Personnel reached a settlement with Mushfiq.  Mushfiq spent the money on security guards to protect him and his wife and bribes to leave the country safely.

SF Gate June 10, 2012

Ahmad Reshad Mushfiq is a 31-year-old man who walks with a cane and a slight limp. His flawless English belies the fact that he has been in the United States for little more than a year. Even in the hottest weather, he wears jeans. He has a permanent smile that exudes hope. Few could guess he is missing both legs.

I first met Mushfiq in Fremont two days after he had come to California to seek permanent U.S. residence. He, and his pregnant wife, Farzana, had come a long way. They were homeless, impoverished and urgently seeking assistance. Many immigrants come to the United States in pursuit of the American dream. This couple came in quest of freedom from war and threats to their lives

Please see the original and read the entire story here

Posted in Afghanistan, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Injured Contractors, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Defense Base Act Insurance State Department Solicitation (Cancelled)

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 12, 2012

Per the State Department:  July 23, 2012
Contractors requiring DBA insurance will need to purchase the insurance in the open market. Contractors subject to the Act are legally responsible for ensuring that their employees are insured. We are providing contractors with a link to the Department of labor’s list of authorized DBA Insurers.
Solicitation Number:
SAQMMA12R0262
Notice Type:
Modification/Amendment
Synopsis:
Added: Jul 18, 2012 1:29 pm

The solicitation is cancelled because no proposals were received.

Agency: U.S. Department of State
Office: Office of Logistics Management
Location: Acquisition Management
Solicitation Number:
SAQMMA12R0262
Notice Type:
Presolicitation
Synopsis:
Added: Jun 12, 2012 1:10 pm

INFORMATIONAL NOTICE ONLY – NO RESPONSE IS SOLICITED AT THIS TIME

The solicitation will be released in June, 2012 for award in July, 2012.
The Department of State (DoS or Department) seeks to designate, through an unrestricted competitive source selection process, a qualified insurance company as its exclusive Defense Base Act insurance provider (Insurer) for a period of two years with an option to extend for six months. The Insurer shall sell the insurance to DoS contractors at the rates no higher than those set forth in an Agreement with the Department

Posted in Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, State Department | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Cummings Introduces Legislation to Reform Defense Base Act Insurance Program

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on June 6, 2012

In addition to cost concerns, the current system has failed to ensure that all injured workers obtain health care services, disability payments, or death benefits they and their families deserve

“There is absolutely no reason American taxpayers should be lining the pockets of private insurance companies,” said Cummings.

“This bill would save billions of dollars while improving the ability of contractor employees who risk their lives in war zones to obtain the medical care and support they deserve.”

Committee on Government and Oversight Reform  June 6, 2012

Washington, DC (June 6, 2012) —Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, introduced legislation today that would save taxpayers huge sums of money by transitioning the existing workers’ compensation insurance system for overseas government contractors away from private sector insurance companies to a federal self-insurance program.

“There is absolutely no reason American taxpayers should be lining the pockets of private insurance companies,” said Cummings. “This bill would save billions of dollars while improving the ability of contractor employees who risk their lives in war zones to obtain the medical care and support they deserve.”

According to a 2009 Pentagon study, Congress could save as much as $250 million a year by transitioning the existing Defense Base Act (DBA) insurance program to a government self-insurance program. The study found: “In the long run, the self-insurance alternative may have the greatest potential for minimizing DBA insurance costs, and it has several administrative and compliance advantages as well.”

Cummings’s legislation, H.R. 5891, The Defense Base Act Insurance Improvement Act of 2012, would direct the Departments of Defense and Labor to establish a self-insurance program in which the government would pay directly for medical benefits and disability benefits rather than utilizing private insurance companies.

The existing system has been a boondoggle for private insurance companies, who have reaped enormous profits under the program. According to an Oversight Committee investigation, insurance companies providing DBA insurance in Iraq and Afghanistan have made enormous underwriting profits that are significantly higher than those of traditional workers’ compensation insurers.

The current DBA system requires contractors to purchase workers’ compensation insurance for employees working overseas from private insurance carriers, and the contractors and insurance companies negotiate their own rates. Since the costs of the insurance premiums are often built into the price of the contract with the government, there is little incentive for contractors to limit insurance costs.

Cummings’s bill would set a six month deadline for the Departments of Defense and Labor to develop an implementation strategy to transition to a self-insurance program, and it would require the strategy to be executed within a year after the bill is enacted.

The legislation would also require the Departments of Defense and Labor to issue a report one year after the program is implemented to assess its effectiveness in terms of cost-savings and the delivery of benefits.

In addition to cost concerns, the current system has failed to ensure that all injured workers obtain health care services, disability payments, or death benefits they and their families deserve. An analysis by ProPublica found that private insurance companies had denied about 44% of serious injury claims and about 60% of claims by employees suffering psychological damage such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

At the request of Congressman Cummings, the Domestic Policy Subcommittee held a hearing in 2009 to evaluate these findings, which confirmed that the Defense Base Act is in desperate need of reform.

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Defense Base Act Attorney Alert

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on March 2, 2012

At the risk of sounding repetitive:

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is not returning your calls and emails

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is not sending you copies of correspondence and actions on your claim

It is NEVER a good thing when your DBA Attorney/Lawyer refuses to send evidence to the DoL Claims Examiner when asked to do so

It is NEVER a good thing when you never receive copies of actions on your claim from the DoL

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is, or ever was, Bruce Nicholson, or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer was Dennis Nalick and you left your file with Matthew Singer or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer is one of the sign em and stack em high volume, low results, insurance company favorites or

If your DBA Attorney/Lawyer does not have malpractice insurance (it is not required to handle DBA claims)……

Remember that it is you and your families future at stake and stay on top of your claim

Because these DBA Attorneys/Lawyers are capable of saving the insurance companies millions of dollars on the backs of widows and disabled contractors

YOU must do this for yourself and do it when you first begin to have doubts

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, Department of Labor, Hope that I die, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

IRS Targets US Expats

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 12, 2012

Updates to our ExPat Tax Page

For years companies like Blackwater and Ronco Consulting  have Misrepresented their employees as Consultants or Independent Contractors to the IRS to escape having to pay Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes.

Thank you Blackwater and Ronco Consulting

At the same time these same companies represented these same consultants and Independent Contractors to be employees for the purpose of purchasing the mandated Defense Base Act Worker’s Comp Insurance.  Even going so far as to have contractors sign new backdated employment contracts AFTER they were injured.

Fraudulent activity of this nature has garnered the full attention of the IRS to the Contract Employee much more so than it has the Contract Company.  Blackwater even continued to do this after the IRS busted them.

Bob Powers of Power Tax sends us this and asks that we warn all ExPats to be prepared.

Pursuant to an IRS internal memo Memorandum Number: AM2009-0003

This link IRS  has an important note regarding the definition of a foreign tax home (which is necessary to claim the Sec 911 benefit).

The IRS has been using this in somewhat of a distorted way to deny the FEIE to contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan,, not only those who have families in the U.S., but also single people who left home, joined the military and then were hired as contractors.

If they did not plan in advance and take all the steps necessary to show that their abode was in a foreign country and not in the U.S. they are disallowing the exclusion.

Many have had inexperienced tax preparers or did their own tax return and the case dragged on so long that they lost their administrative appeals rights and facing a substantial tax bill plus penalties cannot afford a good tax attorney to take it to Tax Court.

As a result, the IRS is using their muscle to claim that these workers were living on a base and had no contact with the local community and therefore their “abode-which is not clearly defined anywhere) was in the U.S.

This is the quote from the IRS page:

Tax Home
Your tax home is the general area of your main place of business, employment, or post of duty, regardless of where you maintain your family home.
Your tax home is the place where you are permanently or indefinitely engaged to work as an employee or self-employed individual. Having a “tax home” in a given location does not necessarily mean that the given location is your residence or domicile for tax purposes.

If you do not have a regular or main place of business because of the nature of your work, your tax home may be the place where you regularly live. If you have neither a regular or main place of business nor a place where you regularly live, you are considered an itinerant and your tax home is wherever you work.

You are not considered to have a tax home in a foreign country for any period in which your abode is in the United States . However, your abode is not necessarily in the States while you are temporarily in the United States .

Your abode is also not necessarily in the United States merely because you maintain a dwelling in the United
States , whether or not your spouse or dependents use the dwelling.

“Abode” has been variously defined as one’s home, habitation, residence, domicile, or place of dwelling. It does not mean your principal place of business. “Abode” has a domestic rather than a vocational meaning and does not mean the same as “tax home.”
The location of your abode often will depend on where you maintain your economic,
family, and personal ties.

Example 1.
You are employed on an offshore oil rig in the territorial waters of a foreign country and work a 28-day on/28-day off schedule. You return to your family residence in the United States during your off periods. You are considered to have an abode in the United States and do not satisfy the tax home test in the foreign country. You cannot claim
either of the exclusions or the housing deduction.

Example 2.
For several years, you were a marketing executive with a producer of machine tools in Toledo , Ohio . In November of last year, your employer transferred you to London , England , for a minimum of 18 months to set up a sales operation for Europe . Before you left, you distributed business cards showing your business and home addresses in London .

You kept ownership of your home in Toledo but rented it to another family. You placed your car in storage. In November of last year, you moved your spouse, children, furniture, and family pets to a home your employer rented for you in London .

Shortly after moving, you leased a car and you and your spouse got British driving licenses. Your entire family got library cards for the local public library. You and your spouse opened bank accounts with a London bank and secured consumer credit. You joined a local business league and both you and your spouse became active in the
neighborhood civic association and worked with a local charity.

Your abode is in London for the time you live there. You satisfy the tax home test in the foreign country.

Note that the IRS agents examining these returns are not seasoned international agents and their internal directive is to disallow the exclusion regardless of the taxpayer’s defenses and force it to go to Tax Court.

We recommend you check out Power Taxes pages before you deploy.

U.S. Expatriate Tax & Business Solutions

Posted in Blackwater, Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Exclusive Remedy, Follow the Money, Political Watch, Ronco Consulting, Taxes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

At Least 87 Contractors Dead in Fourth Quarter of 2011

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on January 5, 2012

Fourth Quarter 2011 Contractor Casualties numbers are taken from the DoL’s Defense Base Act Case Summary

so only reflect the numbers of Casualties legally reported to the Department of Labor.

These numbers reflect Defense Base Act Claims from around the world and claimants of all nations, employers, and carriers.

Contractor DBA Death claims filed from Oct 1, 2011 through December 31 2011 –       87

Contractor Injuries Claims filed –                                                                                                              3,552

Posted in ACE, AIG and CNA, Civilian Contractors, Contractor Casualties and Missing, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, Uncategorized, Zurich | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Appointment of Miranda Chiu DIRECTOR, DLHWC

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on December 28, 2011

This news release at the DoL’s website is NOT dated but this was a recent appointment though she has been in the position for nearly a year now.

Miranda Chiu  is much appreciated by the Defense Attorneys

Dropping the DBA Ball

She did not even implement her own policies, regulations, and procedures

Looks like DBA Claimants are in for a lot more of the same bias in favor of the insurance companies if the last nine years serve as an indicator

The Office of Workers’ Comp Programs announces the appointment of Ms. Miranda Chiu as the Director of the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation. Ms. Chiu has served as Acting Director of the Longshore Division for the last eight months, and as the Division’s Chief of the Branch of Policies, Regulations and Procedures for eight years before that.

Ms. Chiu has extensive experience in Longshore claims. She worked in various capacities in the Longshore arena for thirty years, beginning as a Claims Examiner in the San Francisco Longshore district office, then as a maritime claims supervisor in private industry and a legal assistant at a major Longshore law firm, before taking on her duties as Branch Chief in 2002.

Ms. Chiu holds a Masters Degree in Comparative Literature, and has published a lead article in ‘The Longshore Textbook’, 2nd and 3rd Editions. She is a frequent speaker at industry seminars and educational events and has won numerous awards for her work at the Department of Labor

Posted in Civilian Contractors, Defense Base Act, Defense Base Act Insurance, Defense Base Act Law and Procedure, Department of Labor, Dropping the DBA Ball, Injured Contractors, LHWCA Longshore Harbor Workers Compesnation Act, Political Watch, PTSD and TBI, War Hazards Act | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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