Defense Base Act FAQs (Part 1)
What Are Defense Base Act Benefits?
The Defense Base Act is a form of workers’ compensation for certain civilian employees who were injured while working abroad on military bases and/or under certain government contracts.
Who can Get Defense Base Act Compensation?
There basically four groups of overseas workers who are covered by the DBA. If you meet any one of the following criteria, and you were injured during the course of your work abroad, you are covered, regardless of your nationality:
- Employees of a private employer on an overseas U.S. military base, or on land used by the U.S. for military purposes.
- Employees working abroad on a public works contract for any U.S. government agency that falls under the heading of national defense or war activities. (e.g. construction or civil engineering)
- Workers employed under a contract approved and funded by the U.S. government abroad, including but not limited to selling military equipment and/or services to U.S. allies.
- Employees of the USO or another company or organization that provides moral and welfare services to the military abroad.
Do I Have to be an American Citizen to get Defense Base Act Benefits?
No, you do not have to be an American United States citizen to qualify for Defense Base Act benefits. If you meet any one of the above criteria, you are covered by your employers DBA plan regardless of nationality.
What Agency Governs the Defense Base Act?
US Department of Labor, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC), is the government agency tasked with oversight and implementation of the Defense Base Act. This means that the US Secretary of Labor, a cabinet appointee of the president is at the helm of Defense Base Act Administration.
Currently Trump appointee Rene Alexander Acosta is serving as the 27th United States Secretary of Labor. (As of April 27, 2017 to time of this article on August 28, 2018).
What Benefits Does the Defense Base Act Provide for Qualifying Civilians Injured Overseas?
Medical Treatment, Temporary and Permanent Disability Benefits, and Death Benefits are all provided under the Defense Base Act.
The employer and/or their DBA insurance company must provide all necessary medical, physician, surgical & hospital care; as well as all medications, medical devices, therapy, etc. for as long as the injury or the process of recovery requires.
The injured civilian worker is also entitled to receive either Temporary and Permanent Disability Benefits equaling 2/3 or their average weekly earnings, up to the maximum amount. This maximum amount is adjusted with the economy.
Call our Defense Base Act attorneys to see what the current DBA maximum benefit amount is, and/or to calculate your specific benefit amount.
Temporary disability benefits last for the duration of your illness and inability to work. Permanent disability benefits apply for life.
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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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