Back From Iraq, Injured War-Zone Workers Fight Insurance Giant AIG, Face Financial Ruin

Since that hearing, said a DOL spokesman in a statement Wednesday, the DOL's Office of Workers Compensation has "initiated new performance measures intended to facilitate the delivery of benefits to claimants." The spokesman also said that the DOL is continuing its efforts to shorten the dispute process, which has dropped from 285 days in 2002 to a current average of 251 days. "We remain ready to work with Congress to improve the Defense Base Act."

Carlisle worries that if the system isn't fixed it will ultimately end up hurting U.S. war efforts overseas.

"No civilian will be willing to go and do what we've done, because they'll be afraid to," said Carlisle. "What's going to happen if they get hurt or injured? What's going to happen to their spouse if they get killed? They're going to have to deal with companies like AIG."

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