JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — With hundreds of thousands of wounded veterans looking for work after World War II, many states offered businesses an incentive to hire the returning heroes. They created special disability funds to help pay the tab should a soldier with a missing arm or eye suffer a second, debilitating injury in a private-sector job.

Over the ensuing decades, those disability funds provided aid not to only veterans, but to thousands of others with pre-existing ailments who slipped and fell, twisted their backs or blew out their knees while at work.

But as a new generation of wounded warriors returns from Iraq and Afghanistan, about 20 states have shut down their special disability funds because of rising costs and others are teetering on insolvency, tearing holes in the safety net the funds were intended to provide.

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