While suicide among soldiers has been a focus of Congress and the public, relatively little attention has been paid to the mental health of tens of thousands of civilian contractors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. More »
In 2004, Lane was driving a fuel truck in Iraq for a defense contractor when insurgents attacked his convoy with rocket-propelled grenades. For most of the five years since, Lane, now 60, has spent his days in silence -- a reminder of the hidden costs of relying on civilian contract workers to support the U.S. war effort. More »
Tens of thousands of civilian contract workers from poverty-stricken countries who are hired to support the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan and get injured there and families of those killed are covered by American taxpayer-funded insurance, but it often fails to deliver. More »
Civilian contractors play an ever-greater role in Iraq and Afghanistan. But once they come home, their insurers often deny them their benefits, while the Labor Department fails to act. More »
All 37 Stories (8)updates since last visit
The Sandi Group was fined $75,000 after delaying reports to the U.S. government that more than 30 of its workers had died or been injured.
A proposed update to the Defense Base Act would provide a federal program for workers' compensation for military contractors killed or injured on the job.
Chicago-based CNA Financial Corp. faces possible investigation after failing to pay death benefits to survivors of Iraqi translators working to help the U.S. mission in Iraq.
More contractors than soldiers died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first six months of 2010, the first time that contractor deaths have exceeded military ones.
Defense contractors in the field suffer war trauma just as soldiers do—but don’t have the insurance safety net veterans enjoy.
Translators injured helping rebuild Iraq sometimes find the medical benefits they were promised are not forthcoming.
Afghan translators working for the U.S. often find that when they are injured, even the promised help is sometimes hard to get.
Emad Hatabah coordinated the care for hundreds of Iraqis working for U.S. troops, a role that benefited his own medical network.
An Iraqi who was injured while helping in the U.S. war effort says AIG's settlement treated him unfairly.
The government's lack of action has allowed abuse of the system set up to ensure medical care for injured civilians.
A reporter argues that civilian contractors injured or killed while working in Iraq or Afghanistan should also be remembered on Veterans Day.
Officials are making changes to track the performance of insurers and to speed up the handling of their disputes with injured contractors.
More than 1,600 civilian workers have died in the war zones, but the Pentagon isn't tracking the casualties.
Reggie Lane, a struggling truck driver, hired on for a good salary with a defense contractor, but a rocket-propelled grenade shattered his life.
Congress could save as much as $250 million a year through a sweeping overhaul of the controversial U.S. system to care for civilian contractors injured in war zones, according to a new Pentagon study.
Rep. Elijah Cummings said he hoped his proposal would reduce the $300 million a year paid by defense contractors to insurance companies.
Although low-paid foreign contract workers face many of the same risks soldiers do in Iraq and Afghanistan, they rarely are informed of their rights or even receive the care that has already been purchased by U.S. taxpayers.
The Labor Department is looking into whether a Maltese company misrepresented its employees as agents of the U.S. government.
Read a translation in Filipino of the June 19, 2009, story, "Foreign Workers for U.S. Are Casualties Twice Over."
Citing high insurance premiums paid by the Pentagon, the Congressional Research Service suggests cutting out the middleman.
A senator in Manila presses for proper compensation of those injured or killed while working for the U.S. in war zones.
Lawmakers, Obama administration officials, private insurance companies and contractors found common ground in acknowledging there are serious flaws in the government's system for taking care of civilian workers injured or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Contract employees injured in the conflict zones of Iraq and Afghanistan and families of those killed there are covered by American taxpayer-funded insurance, but it often fails to deliver.
Three men from the Filipino town of Lutopan served as part of the invisible army that daily cares for and feeds U.S. soldiers in Iraq. But when one died and the other two were injured, their treatment was far from uniform.
Lawmakers criticized a federal program that relies on private insurance companies to provide medical care and benefits to civilians injured while working in Iraq and Afghanistan as injured war contractors confronted the executives of the companies they have been fighting for care.
Despite his company spending more than $300,000 this year on lobbying, a Chicago-based carrier CNA executive will testify alongside AIG executives at a hearing on insurance for civilian contractors injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Defense Department is considering an audit into unpaid medical benefits, after an investigation by LA Times, ABC News and ProPublica led to calls for action from Congress.
A Senate hearing into the Pentagon's failure to collect billions of dollars from AIG and other insurers has been pushed back, Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., announces.
In a letter to the insurer, Rep. Kucinich, D-Ohio, says he was "alarmed" by a recent investigation by ProPublica, ABC News and the LA Times. Hearings are expected this summer.
The Pentagon is unable to meet its own regulations on obtaining reimbursements from insurers, a federal report finds, costing the military millions for the treatment of wounded contractors.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., has called for an investigation following a report by ProPublica, the LA Times and ABC News that found AIG and other insurers often denied medical treatment for contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After losing his leg to an IED in Baghdad, a DynCorp employee became an advocate for wounded contractors fighting to get benefits from their insurers. Then he wound up in a fight of his own.
As a contractor in Iraq, Skoug nearly lost his life when his vehicle hit an anti-tank mine. But the real shock hit when his employer’s insurance company refused to pay his medical bills.
The Los Angeles Times and ProPublica spent more than 18 months examining the hidden world of civilian contractor injuries.
Civilian contractors play an ever-greater role in Iraq and Afghanistan. But once they come home, their insurers often deny them their benefits, while the Labor Department fails to act.
- Injuries and Deaths to U.S. Civilian Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan by State
- Injuries and Deaths to Civilian Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan by Country
- War Contractors: The Numbers on American vs. Foreign Workers in Iraq and Afghanistan
- Profitable Policies for Insurers, Costly Coverage for Contractors
Video: Forgotten Warriors From Abroad, Los Angeles Times, June 19, 2009
Video: In Their Shoes: Foreign Contractors in Iraq, “Someone Else’s War”
Tim Newman: How One Contractor Is Making a Difference, ProPublica, April 16, 2009
Russell Skoug: When No One Would Pay, ProPublica,
April 16, 2009
Slideshow: Rita’s Walk, Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2009
Did AIG Neglect Injured Contractors?, ABC News, April 17, 2009
John Woodson Tells His Story, ABC News, April 16, 2009
- Health Care Provided by Military Treatment Facilities to Contractors in Southwest Asia (PDF), Inspector General, Department of Defense, May 4, 2009
- Testimony of Shelby Hallmark (PDF), Director, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Labor Department, before the House Government Reform Committee, May 15, 2008
- Defense Base Act Insurance: Review of Needed Cost and Implementation Issues (PDF), Government Accountability Office, April 29, 2005
- Defense Base Act
The original story on injured war zone contractors was co-published with the Los Angeles Times.