The U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan has relied heavily on civilian workers, to transport supplies, protect diplomats and other tasks. Though these contractors suffer the same physical and mental scars as troops, they return home without the same support network, often having to fight with insurers for the care they need.
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 than 250 civilian contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the first half of 2010, while 235 soldiers died in the same period, the first time contractor deaths have exceeded military ones.
An insurance program funded by American taxpayers was supposed to provide a safety net for Iraqi interpreters and their families in the event of injury or death. Yet for many, the benefits have fallen painfully short of what was promised, an investigation by the Los Angeles Times and ProPublica found.
Afghan translators injured while working for the U.S. often face lack of medical benefits and uncertain futures, even if they can come to the U.S. Promises of benefits and financial support often go unfulfilled.
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