Defense Base Act Articles
For Civilians Injured Overseas
PTSD Claims Under the Defense Base Act
It is well reported that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe mental disorder that affects many military veterans – especially those in active combat zones. However, less recognized are the many private military contractors who work and live in conflict zones suffer who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Years ago, PTSD was referred to as “battle weariness” or “shell shock” – especially during World War II, the Korean War, and even the Vietnam War. PTSD symptoms include reliving the incident in dreams or flashbacks, feeling intense sorrow, dread, and rage, and experiencing severe anxiety.
While the Veterans Administration has long administered disability benefits for soldiers suffering from PTSD, obtaining DBA compensation for civilian contractors afflicted with PTSD has been much more difficult.
If you were a military contractor who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of working on a military base overseas, this article will assist you in determining if you may have a claim for PTSD under the Defense Base Act.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Military Contractors
The symptoms of PTSD among military contractors often include strong, disturbing thoughts and emotions related to their experience abroad that, regrettably, may persist much longer than their traumatic working conditions overseas.
Military contractors with PTSD may also have a sense of alienation or estrangement from others who did not share their terrifying experiences – such as family, friends and coworkers back at home. This can cause individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to avoid social situations or relationships.
They may also avoid people, events or circumstances that may remind them of the terrible incidents or events that they experienced while working abroad. Another symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that some contractors may suffer is an inability to remember precise details of the horrific incident that occurred.
Sadly, some military contractors may also incorrectly blame themselves, or experience emotions of guilt or shame, as a result of the horrific events or incident that precipitated their PTSD. And those who are suffering from PTSD may have very intense responses to loud or sudden sounds.
The Defense Base Act and PTSD Claims
The Defense Base Act (also known as the “DBA” or “Defense Base Compensation Act”) is a federal workers compensation program that provides benefits to injured workers employed overseas who worked under U.S. government contracts in embassies, on military, and in combat operations in countries such as Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Qatar and Somalia among others.
As with any claim for DBA benefits, you must “prove” your PTSD in order to collect workers compensation benefits. However, “proving” any psychological condition can be difficult, since there is not a physical test – like a blood test, x-ray or MRI – that can show a psychological injury.
If you are suffering from PTSD or any other psychological problems, you should see a mental health professional immediately and get the help that you need and deserve. Most importantly, this will help you get well, and assist you in coping with your disorder. But seeing a psychiatrist, psychologist, neurologist or other brain or mental health doctor will also provide the documentation you need to get your Defense Base Act claim approved more quickly.
In almost all cases of PTSD the services of a specialized Defense Base Act attorney can be very valuable in submitting a claim for DBA compensation.
While many contractors remark that they are not the “suing type,” or that the DBA insurance company “has been nice to them – these beliefs can lead to a denial, reduction, or termination of the DBA benefits you deserve for your PTSD claim.
A workers’ compensation attorney should be retained as soon as possible if a PTSD claim will be filed. This way, if your employer and their insurance company lowers or cancels your benefits, or if they refuse pay for your medical / psychological treatment, you will have a DBA lawyer who is a strong advocate by your side, ready to fight for you.
Remember, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder DBA claims are tough to pursue, which is all the more reason to retain the services of an experienced DBA attorney for PTSD claims.
Getting Help for PTSD
Never be ashamed of having PTSD or any other condition. Psychological illness or injury is a medical condition, just like a broken leg or a tumor. Do not delay seeking help for PTSD. The longer you wait to get treatment, the worse your condition can get, and the longer your illness will last.
Your experiences as a civilian contractor working abroad caused this condition – so always remember your PTSD is not your fault. You both need and deserve proper medical treatment as well as compensation for your PTSD or other psychological injury or illness.
The SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
American Psychological Association (APA) provides a Psychologist Locator to find a psychologist in your area who can help you take the first steps to treat your PTSD. The phone number on the back of your insurance card can also usually refer you to a mental health professional who is in your area and within your network.
If you are having thoughts or feelings of suicide, call: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Best Defense Base Act Attorneys for PTSD
Our highly specialized Defense Base Act attorneys are committed to ensuring that every injured or disabled civilian employee obtains the benefits he or she has earned. We have successfully filed hundreds of Defense Base Act applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in DBA benefits in over four decades of legal service.
Call today or fill out the short form on the right to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION with one of our skilled and experienced Defense Base Act Attorneys.
Free Consultation with a Defense Base Act Attorney: 800-964-8047
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Our highly specialized Defense Base Act attorneys have successfully filed hundreds of Defense Base Act applications and appeals – obtaining millions of dollars in DBA benefits in our four decades of legal service.
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