Are U.S. ‘sonic attack’ victims getting all the help they need?

| Sep 28, 2017 | OWCP - Federal Workers' Compensation

The reports are clear. Some U.S. diplomats in Cuba say they have come under sonic attack while serving at the embassy in Havana. Officials put the number of individuals at 21, but one official says there have been nearly 50 attacks all told. In addition, new U.S. workers heading to posts on the Caribbean island nation are being warned that they could become victims, as well.

The whole matter is mired deep in mystery. Cuba adamantly denies any involvement and U.S. and Canadian investigators trying to identify what’s going on have come up dry. Yet, it’s clear the victims have suffered. Symptoms reported include hearing loss, nausea, dizziness and brain damage. The symptoms vary victim to victim, however, and so do the stories of what victims experienced.

Adding to the inscrutability is the opinion of experts that while it is possible to weaponize sound, a device that could be used covertly doesn’t exist.

While officials continue trying to get to the bottom of what is happening, we find ourselves asking other questions? Are the federal workers who have been the victims of these apparent attacks getting all the compensation benefits they are entitled to, or is the mysterious nature of their situation being used by workers’ compensation administrators as a rationale to deny claims?

Any worker injured on the job is eligible for help in the form of medical treatment and wage replacement. If their injuries are such that it makes it impossible for them to return to their previous jobs, they are due vocational rehabilitation, a chance to return to work with special limitations or modifications. If the injuries suffered cause career-ending disability, it might be possible to apply for retirement.

Knowing what your options for benefits are and what rights you have to appeal benefits denied can be complicated to sort out. Quieting the noise around the issue is possible by consulting with a skilled attorney.

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