Defense Base Act & COVID-19
The DBA & COVID-19 Compensation for Defense Contractors Abroad
Civilian contractors working abroad are at risk of exposure to Covid-19. To make matters worse, these employees may lack access to appropriate medical treatment while overseas. And, as the new and dangerous “Delta Variant” of COVID-19 is sweeping the world, defense contractors are at even greater risk.
The Defense Department is taking some preventative steps to safeguard both military personnel and civilian contractors. For example, The Defense Department has issued a directive requiring all personnel on DOD premises to wear face masks. This also applies to civilian contractors.
On July 29, 2021 the New York Times reported that President Biden had announced that all federal employees and on-site contractors must be vaccinated against the coronavirus – or alternatively be required to submit to regular COVID testing and other measures.
This new vaccination requirement would extend to the 766,372 civilians working for the Defense Department. However, they are still working out the details of vaccination requirements for the 1.3 million active-duty service members, even though many troops and civilian contractors work side by side abroad.
The Defense Base Act Covers COVID-19
If you are a military contractor working abroad on a US base, it is important to know that Illness caused by the COVID-19 virus is covered under the Defense Base Act workers compensation. If a civilian defense contractor gets COVID while on deployment, their employer’s Defense Base Act insurance coverage must cover them.
If you begin to exhibit COVID symptoms, it is critical that you speak with the base medic promptly. Civilian workers on military bases diagnosed with a severe case of COVID, may be sent home on a medical leave of absence (MLOA).
If an evacuation restriction owing to the pandemic prevents you from returning home, you may still try contacting your local embassy for repatriation flight information. And if your company is refusing to approve the cost of an MLOA due to travel limitations, you may want to try booking a ticket (most likely at your own cost) on a repatriation aircraft arranged by the US embassy.
If you are an American citizen in Iraq and want to leave the country, you can contact the US Embassy to be notified of any upcoming flights. If you are in the Kurdistan Region, contact the US Embassy at ErbilACS@state.gov. If you are located in another part of Iraq, you may contact the US embassy at BaghdadACS@state.gov.
If you are a military contractor in Afghanistan, for additional information about upcoming repatriation flights, you can contact the US Embassy in Kabul at KabulRepat@state.gov.
Defense Base Act Attorneys for Civilian Contractors Abroad
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 while working as a military contractor abroad, or have any injury or injury as a result of the pandemic, it is critical that you consult an attorney before making any choices that may impact your eligibility for compensation under the Defense Base Act.
Our expert Defense Base Act attorneys can review the circumstances of your case, and provide guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that you obtain the maximum Defense Base Act compensation for which you qualify.
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.
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