Back in 2008, the Defense Base Act industry found itself in the cross-hairs of Congressional scrutiny. Insurance companies were denying legitimate claims. Some of the claims that were paid were done so after a lengthy delay. Some injuries, like PTSD, were viewed with skepticism. All the while, insurance companies were making huge profits off of the war.
Like many industries that come under fire, the DBA industry tried to correct itself. The Department of Labor developed a tracking system to determine when claims were reported, and when claims were paid. Anyone can log onto the DOL’s website and view the DBA industry report cards. The report cards do not, however, provide the full story, especially with PTSD.
For a while, DBA administration issues became fewer and farther between. Many claims were paid. It looked like the industry would normalize.
Unfortunately, the honeymoon was short-lived. In my opinion, we are back to the times when some claims are denied for no good reason. These injured workers are left without disability and medical benefits. They are thrown to the wolves. Their credit is ruined. Their cars repossessed. These claimants are living by the charity of their communities and, in some cases, having to rely on outside help (like the VA) for medical treatment.
These denials beg some questions. Is a particular denial legitimate? To be sure, there are appropriate legal bases for some denials; while other denials are bogus. Is the denial a way to starve a claimant to a cheap settlement? A “deny-til-they-die” tactic? Is the insurance company taking advantage of the lack of a bad faith provision in the DBA? Or can the insurer point to a specific statute, regulation, or case on which they can rest their denial arguments?
If your claim has been denied for a bogus reason, then maybe it’s time to contact Congress. Go to www.govtrack.us, enter your address and find your representative and senators. Here’s the website: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/map. Write your representative. Tell them what is going on. They will make an inquiry with the Department of Labor. Perhaps your case will get a second look.