The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a crucial piece of legislation passed in 1941. The purpose? To cover civilians working overseas on government contracts at military bases.
If you need to file a claim under the DBA, you may wonder what the DBA claims process looks like. Today, we’ll explain the DBA procedure and answer some of your most pressing related questions.
What Does the DBA Claims Process Look Like?
Before anything else, you’ll need to verify you qualify to file claims under the DBA. Qualifications for coverage under this act include:
- Working on a military base or reservation in a foreign country
- Engaged in government-funded public works businesses in a foreign country
- Engaged in a public works project or military contract with a foreign nation that was deemed necessary to American National Security
- Providing government-funded services outside normal military channels
- Any sub-contractors used in the above
Once you’ve verified that you qualify, the next step is to seek medical attention, gather evidence, and file a claim. The claim should be filed as soon as possible, and it’s highly recommended you use an experienced attorney during the process.
Filing With The DLHCWC
The DBA claims process is started by filing a claim with the Department of Labor’s Division of Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation (or DLHCWC). Before determining whether your claim is approved, the DLHCWC will look over any medical records and have a conference with your carrier and employer.
Formal Adjudication Process For Disputes
If you (or the other party) don’t agree with the determination made by the DLHCWC, the case will begin a formal adjudication process through the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ). This court process includes discovery requests and a hearing, after which a judge will make a decision on your case.
How Long Do DBA Claims Take?
The length of time from filing to completion for DBA claims varies significantly. For example, if you receive an undisputed approval of your claim through the DLHCWC, the claims process may only take a few weeks. However, if you or the other party dispute the claim, the process could take months – or even longer.
How Can a DBA Lawyer Expedite Your Claim?
Hiring an experienced Defense Base Act lawyer can help you expedite the claim process in a few ways. For example, your lawyer can:
- Ensure there are no snags or errors during the initial filing process
- Push your claim forward using legal avenues you don’t have access to alone
- Seek out alternatives to the formal adjudication process
- Ensure you receive a fair settlement and aren’t taken advantage of
Do You Have More Questions About the DBA Claims Process?
Do you have more questions about the DBA claims process? Or do you need legal representation for a Defense Base Act claim that you’re planning to file (or already filed)?