Peace Corps Volunteers Report Lack of Government Support When Hurt

Jan. 28, 2013

Thousands of individuals volunteer each year to the federally funded Peace Corps hoping to give back around the world. But too often, they are sent away without a proper support system that will protect them from dangers ranging from assaults to diseases. More disturbing, though, is the lack of support available when they are hurt.

An article from Fair Warning recently highlighted the story of a young woman from Colorado Springs, Colorado. She joined the Peace Corps, and was sent to Burkina Faso in West Africa during Sept. 2008. While there, she began having stomach issues and learned she had contracted a gastrointestinal infection. She was sent home in Dec. 2009, but faced mounting medical bills and treatment for the condition—which the US Department of Labor refused to assist with.

The troubles that Peace Corps volunteers encounter when trying to receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits have received heavy attention in recent years. A lack of approved providers and funding plague those lucky enough to receive benefits after cutting through the system’s red tape.

Experts say many injured Peace Corps volunteers simply do not understand their legal rights to compensation. The Denver Personal Injury Attorneys with the McDivitt Law Firm have seen this problem in many different industries and may be able to help clarify what your rights and responsibilities as an employee are if you have been hurt at work.

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