WOBURN, Mass. - The mother of a CIA contractor who died during a raid on the US Embassy in Benghazi is calling on Congress to repeal an antiquated policy that nearly blocked his family from receiving death benefits.
Barbara Doherty said congressional officials need to repeal the Defense Base Act of 1941 that set strict parameters on death policies for government workers, including denying payouts for employees who do not have dependents.
“It gives me solace that the CIA has done the right thing,” Doherty told FOX25. “Now it’s up to Congress to see if they can step up to the plate.”
Doherty said she was relieved by Wednesday’s announcement by the CIA that the agency would expand death benefits for contractors killed in the line of duty, including benefits for Doherty’s son, Glen.
Glen Doherty was killed on the rooftop of the embassy in Libya in 2012, and his mother has fought for more than three years to gain access to the life insurance policy Doherty not only paid into while he was alive, but was required to purchase before he went overseas.
“It wasn’t about the money, at all,” Barbara Doherty said. “It was a fight for [all families], because they didn’t have a voice and we did…that’s what kept us going on, knowing that they would eventually be recognized.”
The CIA said the expanded benefits would be retroactive to 1983, guaranteeing payouts to dozens of families who lost a loved one who worked for the federal government.
Doherty worked with Rep. Stephen Lynch to advocate change within the CIA, and Wednesday Rep. Lynch told FOX25 the policy should have always covered government workers, whether they had children or not.
“It is entirely disrespectful to make them fight through a long bureaucratic process to get the benefits that that heroism has earned,” Rep. Lynch said.
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