A Los Angeles Times investigation reports that U.S. contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan are often denied psychological injuries, like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Insurance companies fight psychological disability claims by calling into question the expertise of doctors who make such a diagnosis. An insurance psychiatrist specializing in pharmacological research denies psychology as “baloney.” A psychologist working for insurance giant, American International Group (AIG), claims to be an expert in the treatment of PTSD, but has only seen 10-15 cases in the past decade.
AIG pays 90% of all physical injuries while it pays slightly more than 50% of psychological claims. In one case AIG continued to reject one claimant’s application despite one of its own experts agreeing that the claimant did in fact need psychological treatment. It took nearly 18 months before a court demanded that AIG pay the psychological injury payments.
Contractors working in a war zone often work shoulder to shoulder with U.S. military troops. However, they do not receive VA benefits.