Your Defense Base Act Rights
#1. Employers of covered employees are required to provide Defense Base Act compensation & medical benefits. Employers must either purchase DBA insurance from an authorized DBA insurance carrier, or obtain Department of Labor authorization to be self-insured.
#2. An employer CANNOT fire or in any way discriminate against an employee because he or she has claimed or attempted to claim DBA compensation.
#3. You do not have to be an American United States citizen to qualify for Defense Base Act benefits, if you meet the other criteria.
#4. Your injury does not have to occur while you are “on the clock” performing duties to collect DBA benefits.
#5. If you are denied benefits you are entitled to a review process which includes: an informal conference; a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge; review by a Benefits Review Board; appeal to U.S. District Court or U.S. Court of Appeals; and finally application to the U.S. Supreme Court.
#6. The employer or insurer CANNOT deny a claim because the worker “assumed the risk”. They also CANNOT deny a claim because of the negligence of another employee, or by claiming that the injured party was at fault (“contributory negligence”).
#7. If any installment of DBA compensation payable without an award is not paid within 14 days after it becomes due, an additional 10% may be added to the unpaid installment. If any compensation payable under an award is not paid by 10 days after becoming due, an additional 20% may be added.
#8. If the employer cannot cover the cost of the worker’s injury, they are in violation of Federal Law and are guilty of a misdemeanor. If found guilty, they can be charged up to $10,000, and/or up to a year in jail, or both.