Congressman Dan Kildee Successfully Fights for Injured Service Member to Receive Benefits Long-Denied by U.S. Army
Clio Service Member Will Receive $100,000 in Traumatic Injury Benefits After Kildee Intervention in Case Marked by Years of Bureaucratic Delay
Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) has successfully worked to get an injured service member benefits that were wrongly and repeatedly denied by the U.S. Army.
Sergeant First Class Cameron Corder, of Clio, was injured in December 2013 while on active duty with the Michigan Army National Guard serving as a flight medic in Afghanistan. SFC Corder sustained injuries to his back during a medical evacuation flight when a casualty he was treating with head injuries following a roadside IED blast became combative and slammed him against a metal box on the aircraft. Despite numerous surgeries and medical procedures after his injury, SFC Corder was left partially paralyzed and unable to walk.
Despite his traumatic injury in Afghanistan, the Army for years repeatedly denied SFC Corder’s requests for the injury benefits to which he is entitled, including a payment of $100,000 from the Traumatic Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (TSGLI) program.The Army erroneously claimed that despite numerous eyewitness accounts of how SFC Corder was injured, he should not receive the TSGLI benefit because his medical records did not adequately describe the traumatic event.
After petitions by Congressman Kildee and a formal application on SFC Corder’s behalf by his pro bono attorney, Scott W. MacKay, the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) unanimously ruled that the Army made an error in denying SFC Corder’s request for TSGLI benefits and that SFC Corder’s records should be corrected to reflect his eligibility for and payment of the $100,000 benefit. The ABCMR also determined that SFC Corder’s disability was combat-related, which will facilitate SFC Corder’s application for and receipt of Combat Related Special Compensation, a monthly payment to SFC Corder in an amount equivalent to the military disability retired pay he must forfeit by law in connection with his receipt of disability benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
“After years of delays, I am pleased that Cameron Corder will receive the benefits from the Army to which he is entitled,” Congressman Kildee said. “Cameron represents the best of this country. An injured service member should never have to go through such a difficult and lengthy bureaucratic ordeal to get injury benefits. The Army should find every way to help injured service members like Cameron. And I will continue to fight for any of my constituents like Cameron who are being treated unfairly.”
“My family and I are very happy that we will finally receive the TSGLI benefit payment. It is going to really help us dig out of the financial hole we have been in since I was injured in Afghanistan in 2013 and the Army kept refusing to pay the benefit. We are very grateful for all the help and assistance with the Army we’ve received from Congressman Kildee and his office, who refused to take no for an answer and kept working on our behalf to get things right,” said SFC Corder.
Ever since learning of the U.S. Army’s wrongful treatment of SFC Corder, Congressman Kildee has fought to secure injury benefits for him and his family. He has repeatedly petitioned Army officials, saying the case is “a clear case of mid-level bureaucrats misapplying policy and intent at the expense of a wounded warrior.” Kildee has also repeatedly met with the senior leadership of the Army, including the Secretary of the Army, to help secure SFC Corder’s benefits. In 2014, Kildee also brought SFC Corder as his guest to the President’s State of the Union address to Congress to draw attention to his case.
Congressman Kildee’s office is open for assisting constituents with help related to federal agencies. Since being elected to Congress, he has helped hundreds of constituents who believed they were being treated unfairly. If you need help resolving a problem with a federal agency, please contact Congressman Dan Kildee’s office through his website, www.dankildee.house.gov, or by calling 810-238-8627.
Congressman Kildee’s actions are the latest in a series of ongoing efforts to support service members and veterans. Earlier this year, Kildee introduced a comprehensive bill package aimed at addressing many of the critical issues service members face, including combatting suicide rates in the military, increasing financial literacy and ensuring affordable housing. On Veterans Day, November 11th, Congressman Kildee will also be hosting a town hall in Flint for veterans and community members.