Guide to DBA Claims for Employees of US Embassies

Guide to DBA Claims for Employees of US Embassies

Jul 14, 2021 | Defense Base Act

Around the globe, the United States has 307 U.S. embassies, consulates, and diplomatic missions. The US embassy presence is felt in 190 countries outside of the US. 

That means there are a whole lot of US citizens working in those embassies and consulates doing important and sometimes dangerous work on behalf of the US. 

As US citizens these workers retain certain rights and privileges, no matter where they get stationed to work. They are also protected under the Defense Base Act

If you are a member of the staff of a US embassy or have been in the past, you need to know how you’re protected under the Defense Base Act. Read on to learn more. 

What Is the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act is an act that falls under the umbrella of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This act provides necessary protections for US workers doing government work in US embassies and other locations outside of the US. 

The act’s original intent was to provide non-government workers, who are working on behalf of the government, protection. The act now extends to peacetime too. Its intention is to provide worker’s compensation like coverage for those workers who were working outside of the US.

Who Gets Coverage Under the DBA at US Embassies?

Any civilian working in a US embassy is covered under the DBA. If you’re a civilian contractor working as part of an embassy team, you would get Defense Base Act protections. These workers might include:

  • Construction workers 
  • Foodservice workers
  • Surveillance and security personnel
  • Logistic specialists
  • Interpreters
  • Truck drivers and mechanics

If an employee experiences an injury while on the job, like in a US worker’s compensation case, the DBA coverage helps to get the benefits. 

What Type of Benefits Are Available Under the DBA?

Like worker’s compensation coverage, if a civilian is injured while doing government work in a US embassy they can get coverage. Under the Defense Base Act, an injured civilian could get:

  • Reimbursement for lost wages
  • Coverage for medical care
  • Rehabilitation services

If a worker dies while on duty, there is coverage and benefits available for the beneficiaries of the deceased too. 

Just like if the worker was working in the US, they would need to file a claim with the employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company. In this scenario, the worker would need to file under the Defense Base Act. 

Like any worker’s compensation case, filing a claim and getting benefits can get complicated and cumbersome. However, if you deserve benefits, you should get them. You should consider hiring a Defense Base Act lawyer. Hiring a DBA attorney is smart because they specialize in this type of case and understand the intricacies of working outside of the US and needing to file a claim under this act.

US Embassies and Their Workers Who Need DBA Claims Help

For the workers, even as a civilian employee, you deserve all the protections and benefits available to you if you’ve been injured on the job. US embassies around the globe employ thousands of workers who deserve benefits if they’ve been injured. 

If you’re one of those employees looking for help with a DBA claim, we can help. We specialize in the area of the law connected to the Defense Base Act. Contact us today to get the help you need on your case.