How to File a PTSD Claim Under the Defense Base Act?

How to File a PTSD Claim Under the Defense Base Act?

Sep 24, 2021 | Defense Base Act, PTSD

Many government employees are civilians who are contracted to work outside of the U.S. government at some point in their careers. Being in foreign countries can be traumatizing if you are stationed in a warzone or were directly impacted by a traumatic situation.

If you are experiencing PTSD symptoms following your time as an employee of the U.S. government, you need to utilize the Defense Base Act to get the help you need to get better.

Continue reading to learn how to file a PTSD claim under the Defense Base Act (DBA). 

What Is the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act is a federal workers’ compensation program for contractors and subcontractors working for the United States government. The act covers civilians working overseas at U.S. embassies and on military bases (outside of the U.S.). 

Is PTSD Covered By the DBA?

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the psychological impact of a traumatic or stressful environment. PTSD is one of the most commonly reported injuries that civilians suffer from after working in a foreign country on behalf of the U.S. government. This applies to military contractors who lived in or worked in a warzone and experienced (or viewed) a traumatic event.

It results in nightmares or flashbacks to the memory of the event that triggered the PTSD. It also can present as social anxiety and extreme emotions, such as anger, fear, and sadness. These symptoms are often triggered by loud noises.

In some cases, these government employees return home not knowing that they have PTSD, while others refuse to get help because they think that they can get through this hard time on their own. It’s possible that the onset of PTSD was delayed beyond the time when they returned home and don’t realize that they can still get help.

Under the Defense Base Act, PTSD sufferers can be eligible for:

  • Treatment (through the employer)
  • Compensation for lost wages 
  • Lump-sum settlements

However, having success in a PTSD claim can be complicated. Especially if you’ve waited to start your claim for more than two years from the onset of the PTSD symptoms.

How Do You File Under DBA?

Filing a PTSD claim under the Defense Base Act can be difficult because it’s not easy to prove. You have to provide proof that shows how your employment as a contractor or subcontractor of the U.S. government caused post-traumatic stress.

You will want to hire an attorney who specializes in DBA on your legal team. Your Defense Base Act attorney will be able to prepare you for the worst-case scenario while presenting your case in the best possible way. They will be able to give legal counsel after they’ve gone over your medical and psychological records. 

Having a successful PTSD claim is all about being properly prepared. When you meet with your PTSD attorney, they will be able to prepare you for:

  • Giving statements
  • Going through insurance company evaluations
  • Attending depositions
  • Doing vocational interviews

Don’t let the insurance company force one of their doctors on you. They don’t always have your best interest at heart. To acquire evidence of your PTSD claim, you will have to go to a board-certified doctor (of your choosing!) to compile an expert testimony presenting you to have PTSD directly related to the employment. 

Start Your PTSD Claim Today

Don’t hesitate to open a PTSD claim through the Defense Base Act. If you are a military contractor or work overseas for the U.S. government and you are struggling with PTSD, there is help available for you. You just have to take the first step.

Contact Barnes Law Firm today to get started with a free consultation.