Defense Base Act PTSD Settlements: What Can You Expect?

Defense Base Act PTSD Settlements: What Can You Expect?

Oct 6, 2023 | Defense Base Act, PTSD

PTSD is rampant in the defense industry. In fact, 7 out of every 100 veterans experience PTSD at some point. As such, a lot of attention and resources go towards military veterans with PTSD.

What about the many defense workers that are not on active duty? Many defense civilians also work under difficult conditions and face extraordinary challenges. The U.S. federal government passed the Defense Base Act (DBA) to help these individuals.

Read on to learn about Defense Base Act PTSD settlements, hiring a Defense Base Act lawyer, filing DBA claims, and more.

What Protection Does the DBA Provide?

The DBA provides workers’ compensation protection to defense civilians. These workers were employed outside the United States. They worked on U.S. military bases under contract with the Department of Defense or one of its prime contractors.

The way it works is that employers operating on a U.S. military base are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance. Under the DBA, this insurance benefit will cover disability, medical, and death benefits. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also covered by the law. 

In the event of an injury or disability, the insurance benefit provides two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly earnings. You may also earn partial compensation for lost wages.

There is also a death benefit payable to a surviving spouse and children. The amount varies by the number of surviving family members; however, it is at least half of the employee’s average weekly earnings.

How to File Defense Base Act Claims

An experienced Defense Base Act attorney can help you file a claim. The first step in the process is notifying your employer of an injury. This includes physical injuries, as well as mental health conditions that you are suffering from.

Your employer should respond by authorizing you to seek medical diagnosis and treatment. From there, they will notify the workers’ compensation insurance company of the injury. Within 10 days, your employer will need to notify the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). It is called the First Report of Injury Form.

Employers also need to notify the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC). Mail, fax, or the DLHWC’s online SEAPortal are three ways to submit the notification.

What If There Is a Dispute Over Benefits?

In some cases, your employer is not willing to help you with your claim. They dispute the circumstances behind your injury and do not believe it should go to insurance.

This is where the assistance of a DBA lawyer is critical. They will bring your DBA claim to the Office of Administrative Law Judges. Here, your DBA attorney will represent you in a formal hearing over your claim.

Your Guide to Defense Base Act PTSD Settlements

PTSD is just one of the many injuries covered by the Defense Base Act. While many claims are processed smoothly, others are not matched with the support of an employer.

The good news is that there are experienced professionals to help you reach a PTSD settlement. If you are pursuing a Defense Base Act PTSD settlement, contact Barnes Law Firm for a consultation.