Top 5 Things You Need to Know About the Defense Base Act

Top 5 Things You Need to Know About the Defense Base Act

Mar 11, 2021 | Defense Base Act, Workers' Comp

Crack! That’s the sound of one of your bones breaking on the job at a U.S. military base overseas. You worry that there’s no workers’ comp as there would be if you’d been hurt on the job stateside.

As it turns out, there’s no need to worry. The Defense Base Act has you covered. DBA claims are comprehensive and easy to file.

Discover the top five things you need to know about the DBA by reading on.

1. It’s Workers’ Comp

Yes indeed, the Defense Base Act is essentially workers’ compensation for civilian contractors who are injured overseas. It’s a federal workers’ compensation law that provides medical and wage loss benefits to civilian contractors who are injured overseas. Such contractors could work for the Department of State or the Department of Defense.

2. It Covers a Lot

The DBA isn’t some bare-bones workers’ comp program. It covers many different kinds of employees.

These include all employees working overseas on U.S. military bases for private employers. Employees doing public works contracts with a U.S. government agency outside of the continental U.S. are also covered.

In addition, the DBA provides for employees of American employers offering welfare or related services outside America to benefit the armed forces. Moreover, the DBA covers employees working on contracts funded or approved by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act.

3. Filing a Claim Is Simple

So, imagine that you were hurt on the job. The first step is to immediately report your injury to your supervisor. You may have to complete a First Report of Injury or Notice of Injury.

Get medical attention and keep documentation of your doctor visits. You must notify your employer of your injury within 30 days. You have a year after the date of the accident to file a DBA claim.

File the claim by way of an LS-203 “claim for compensation.” You’ll provide injury details that you file with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs in the United States Department of Labor.  

4. The DBA Has Historical Precedents

The DBA arose from the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. This was meant to safeguard maritime and dockworkers. It was also designed to offer financial benefits in the event of injury.

It was created to cover those who weren’t covered by the Merchant Marine Act. That protected off-shore seamen, but not those at sea. The DBA was born in 1941 to fill in the gaps left by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

5. You Need a Lawyer

While the DBA may seem easy enough to manage on your own, it’s a lot easier with a lawyer on your side.

An attorney can guarantee that you get the right benefits in a timely manner. They can also keep up with your medical progress so you receive all recommended or requested treatment from your physician. Finally, a lawyer helps you fight against the attorney that your employer and insurance company probably have.

Making Good on DBA Claims

DBA claims can be intimidating. Being faced with making a claim can feel like having to navigate a minefield of bureaucratic red tape and mountains of paperwork.

Although it’s not quite that difficult, it’s much more doable with an attorney on your side. Get help from Barnes Law Firm today.