Ask a DBA Lawyer: Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation Due to PTSD?

Ask a DBA Lawyer: Can I Claim Workers’ Compensation Due to PTSD?

Apr 15, 2022 | Defense Base Act, PTSD

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were just over 2 million injuries in US workplaces in 2020. This doesn’t take workplace deaths from injury into account, but that number pales by comparison to injuries.

This raises an interesting question about workplace injuries. What exactly is a workplace injury? Does it need to involve physical harm, or are psychological issues also considered?

That’s a good question, and a good DBA lawyer can help. Below, we discuss PTSD and how it relates to workers’ compensation.

Defining the Term “DBA”

So first up, what does the term “DBA” mean?

This acronym stands for Defense Base Act and is the name of a law that dates to 1941. This regulation requires all civilians working overseas on military bases or on behalf of the government to have insurance.

The insurance provider must cover the cost of any injuries sustained during employment, even if the injury wasn’t sustained in the workplace.

Mental Health Considerations

You can also make DBA claims for mental health conditions, but only for specific conditions and under certain circumstances.

To successfully claim for a mental health condition, you need to prove the condition began at work or while you are overseas for work. And like physical injury claims, you don’t have to be on the job for a psychological injury claim to be valid.

For instance, an anxiety disorder caused by a car accident you were in on the way back to your hotel room would still count. You were in that location because of your job.

Qualifying Conditions

What kind of mental illnesses typically result in successful Defense Base Act claims?

The condition almost always has to be trauma-induced. This includes PTSD, anxiety disorders, phobias, panic disorders, depression, and, in some cases, even addiction. PTSD, in particular, is one of the most common types of claims filed under the DBA.

Because some mental health conditions can be challenging to prove, it’s advisable to employ the services of a Defense Base Act attorney to help you through the process.

Benefits from the DBA

The benefits provided after a successful DBA claim may include:

  • Payment of medical bills
  • Disability benefits—if you’re permanently affected by the injury
  • Single payment of a set sum of money

There’s also the question of the losses you suffer due to missing work. An experienced DBA attorney will secure reimbursement for lost income in most cases.

PTSD, Workers’ Compensation, and How a DBA Lawyer Can Help

Does the Defense Base Act cover psychological damage? The short answer is yes, provided that the mental health issues occurred because of your job overseas.

Of course, the code of law varies on a case-by-case basis and has complications we can’t cover in this brief article. If you want to know more about DBA regulations or need a DBA lawyer, contact us today with your questions or concerns.