Defense Base Act FAQs (Part 2)
Can My Employer Fire Me for Filing for Defense Base Act Compensation?
Absolutely not! An employer CANNOT fire, or in any way discriminate against, an employee because he or she has claimed or attempted to claim DBA compensation.
Does the Government Pay my Defense Base Act Benefits?
No, employers of covered employees are required to obtain Defense Base Act insurance from an authorized DBA insurance carrier – and it is the insurance carrier who pays your DBA claim.
In some circumstances, employer may be self-insured if they have obtained self-insurance authorization from the Department of Labor. Self-insured employers pay your DBA benefits out of their own pocket –from a special fund they have established to cover the claims of injured employees.
Does the DBA provide coverage for injuries injured while an Employee was NOT on the Job?
Yes. The Defense Base Act is different from other workers’ compensation programs, in that under the DBA, an employee’s injury does not have to occur while they are “on the clock” performing work related duties to collect DBA benefits. This means injuries incurred while engaging in sports, leisure or even athletic activities can be covered by the Defense Base Act.
Can an Employer deny Defense Base Act Benefits if the Injury was My Fault?
No. If you are injured overseas (and meet all DBA eligibility requirements) you are covered regardless of “fault”. The employer or insurer CANNOT deny a claim by claiming the worker “assumed the risk”. They also CANNOT deny a DBA claim because of the negligence of another employee, or by claiming that the injured party was at fault (“contributory negligence”).
What Happens if an Employees Defense Benefits Are Denied?
If you are denied benefits you are entitled to a review process. There are actually several steps or levels of successive appeal, which includes: an informal conference; followed by a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge; then review by a Benefits Review Board; and if necessary appeal to U.S. District Court or U.S. Court of Appeals. The final step in the appeals process is application to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Do I Need a Lawyer if My Defense Base Act Benefits were Denied?
In many cases, the employer and/or their insurance company will have a team of adjusters, investigators and aggressive defense lawyers who will try to find any and every possible reason to deny DBA claims, or at least severely limit the amount of compensation that is awarded.
In these cases, only an experienced and aggressive Defense Base Act attorney will fully understand how to protect your rights and obtain the DBA benefits for which you qualify.
A specialized Defense Base Act attorney familiar with the complex DBA laws, procedures and requirements for proof offers you the best chance of winning a DBA claim and collecting the maximum benefits for which you qualify.
I Was Awarded DBA Benefits, But my Employer Didn’t Pay, Now What?
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.
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.
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.
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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