Defense Base Act Compensation for Detention
If you are or were a civilian working on a US Government base overseas you probably already understand that The Defense Base Act is a system of federal workers’ comp that applies provides benefits to injured contractors working abroad.
The War Hazards Compensation Act is a related but separate set of laws that allows a DBA insurance carrier to request reimbursement for any or all of the Defense Base Act benefits paid to the injured worker that resulted from a “war-risk hazard.” (We explain war-risk hazard here in more detail.)
Defense Base Act Detention Benefits
The Defense Base Act provides benefits for any type of injury from simple slips-and-falls to illnesses such as Malaria. However, many contractors do not realize that the DBA also provides compensation for detention by a “hostile force or person”
“Detention Benefits” are payable to a covered employee who goes missing because of a belligerent action of a “hostile force or person” and/or when the worker has been taken by a “hostile force or person” as a prisoner, hostage, or captive.
While being detained by the hostile force or person, the employee is entitled to be “credited” with the same compensation benefits they would be entitled to for total disability. These detention benefits are calculated at a rate of 100 percent of the workers’ average weekly wage at the time detention begins.
And, during the detention, seventy percent of such benefits can be disbursed to the employees U.S. resident dependents.
War Hazard Coverage of DBA Detention Benefits
The missing employee’s detention benefits are paid by his/her employer and/or the employer’s DBA insurance carrier. However, the War Hazards Compensation Act provides that reimbursement for detention benefits (and resulting administrative costs) be paid to the insurer and/or insurance company from the Employees’ Compensation Fund.
Additionally, the WHCA [Section 104(a) (3)] also authorizes the Secretary to pay detention benefits directly to the employee (or their US resident dependents) once the reimbursement claim is accepted.
This is important, because an employer and/or their Defense Base Act insurer will typically be much less likely to deny or contest DBA detention benefits, if they know they are NOT coming out of their own pocket!
Best Defense Base Act Attorneys
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.
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