As of March 2021, the U.S. filed 5,071 total Defense Base Act claims. Minimum benefits were $0 for injured workers with 0-3 days of lost time.
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) authorizes 700 insurance carriers to dispense benefits. Of those, only three carriers provide DBA coverage.
If you’re interested in learning more about DBA insurance coverage, keep reading.
What Is DBA Insurance?
DBA insurance coverage protects overseas civilian contractors against job-related injuries. It’s government-mandated insurance that covers employees working abroad for:
- Private employers on U.S. military bases for military services
- Any U.S. government agency on a public works contract
- U.S.-funded contracts under the Foreign Assistance Act
- American employers offering government assistance outside of the U.S.
DBA insurance is much like workers’ compensation. Both cover employees who suffer a work-related injury or disability.
What Does DBA Insurance Cover?
DBA insurance provides benefits for temporary and permanent disability. And it covers all eligible civilian military contractors. These include medical treatment, disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, and death benefits.
Your DBA insurance carrier also provides financial coverage for lost wages. DBA insurance limits may change every year. Beginning October 1, 2021, disabled civilian employees can receive weekly compensation of up to $1,726.98.
Your DBA insurance policy doesn’t limit coverage to accidents during work hours. Eligible overseas workers qualify no matter when a work-related incident occurs. And DBA insurance covers mental health too, including PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
To confirm your eligibility status and benefits level, contact a qualified DBA lawyer.
How Much Does DBA Insurance Cost?
The cost of DBA insurance is not so straightforward. Like any other insurance coverage, there are several contributing factors, including:
- The type of work conducted
- Where the work is carried out
- How frequently insured employees travel to perform their duties
You can figure the closest cost estimate based on your total annual salaries paid. For the most part, DBA insurance costs up to $4.50 per $100 in payroll. Most companies require a minimum premium paid by employers.
Filing a DBA Insurance Claim
Eligible workers can file Defense Base Act claims online themselves. Or, they may choose to seek the assistance of an attorney. Since the DBA is a fee-shifting statute, the insurance company pays your attorney fees.
As long as you meet certain requirements, you’re not responsible for legal fees to file your DBA claims.
Seek medical attention as soon as you suffer a job-related injury. It’s important you document everything that occurs from the point of your injury and beyond. Whether you feel something is important or not, accurate records affect your case.
Another pressing matter post-injury is the time-sensitivity of filing a claim. You must file DBA benefit claims within one year from your injury or final compensation payment. The clock starts at the latter of the two.
Families of eligible loved ones killed in a work-related accident also have one year to file a claim. But they must notify the employer within 30-days of the fatal accident.
Understanding Defense Base Act Claims
As an overseas employee, you’re covered for work-related mental crises or disabilities. Government-mandated insurance covers your medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation costs. Inform your family, as DBA insurance also pays disability compensation and death benefits.
Need to know more about Defense Base Act claims? Contact a DBA lawyer at Barnes Law Firm and let us fight on your behalf.