What Defense Base Act Benefits Can I Collect?
The Defense Base Act is a form of workers’ compensation for certain employees who were injured abroad. Benefits include all medical treatment costs, disability benefits, and death benefits. (See if you qualify HERE.)
Unlike regular workers’ comp, DBA benefits apply whether the injury happened while the worker was “on the clock” or not. Both permanent disability and death benefits under the Defense Base Act apply for life.
- Medical Treatment
The employer must provide all medical, surgical & hospital care; as well as medications, medical devices, therapy, etc. for as long as the injury or the process of recovery requires.
- Temporary and Permanent Disability Benefits
The worker receives 2/3 or their average weekly earnings, up to the maximum amount. The maximum amount changes with the economy. Call our attorneys to calculate your specific benefit amount.
- Death Benefits
In the tragic event of a worker’s death, the spouse or one child receives 1/2 of the weekly wage & two or more surviving family members receive 2/3 of the weekly earnings. If the worker is not married and has no children, benefits will go to next of kin.
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Your Legal Right to Defense Base Act Compensation
The Defense Base Act is a Federal workers’ compensation program that covers persons employed at United States defense bases overseas. The DBA provides medical treatment and compensation to employees of defense contractors injured in the scope and course of employment.
All employers of workers who qualify for Defense Base Act coverage are required by federal law to provide workers compensation coverage for their employees. If an employer does not follow the DBA law and/or does not pay the amount in full, the injured employee (or their family in the event of death) can sue the employer for tort damages.
If a worker sues the employer for not providing the DBA coverage that is required by law, the company CANNOT claim that the worker “assumed the risk”. They also CANNOT deny a claim because of the negligence of another employee, or by claiming that the injured party was at fault (“contributory negligence”).
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.
Attorneys Get Maximum Defense Base Act Benefits
If you are injured on the job while overseas, you must notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the incident. An official Defense Base Act claim has to be filed within 1 year of the injury. It is very important follow this time frame in mind, or you may be denied DBA benefits.
Retaining a specialized Defense Base Act attorney immediately following your injury ensures that you will receive all the benefits you are entitled to as an overseas employee.
Many times your employer or their insurance company will tell you that you are receiving all of the benefits you are entitled to, when in fact you are not getting the full DBA compensation for which you qualify. Sometime they will even craftily draw up the settlement papers to terminate a worker’s right to all future benefits under the Defense Base Act.
Hiring a Defense Base Act attorney is completely FREE, and your lawyer fees are payable by the insurance company, once approved by the United States Department of Labor. Our experienced Defense Base Act attorneys will ensure that you receive the maximum benefits to which you are entitled, to provide you with care, an income & peace of mind during your recovery process.