Where Did These DBA Forms Start? The History of the Defense Base Act

Where Did These DBA Forms Start? The History of the Defense Base Act

Nov 14, 2019 | Defense Base Act

In 2018, over 49,000 contractors were working for the Department of Defense under its various areas of responsibility. And before the creation of DBA forms, these individuals had no rights to medical benefits or worker’s compensation.

Interested in learning about the history of the Defense Base Act? Read on to learn all about the DBA, the events that led to its creation, and how it’s evolved to become the law we have today.

Events Leading to the Creation of DBA Forms

The Defense Base Act was signed into law at the beginning of World War II. It may surprise you to find out that the United States signed this bill before officially entering the war.

On August 9th, 1941, President Roosevelt met with Prime Minister Churchill to create the Atlantic Charter. This established the Allied military goals. 

Because of the damage to the United States military after World War I, military leaders knew that outside help would be necessary. The United States government hired both military and non-military individuals. This was the start of a growing trend of using military contractors during wars.

Creation of the Defense Base Act

On August 16th, 1941, Congress enacted the Defense Base Act. Before instating this act, overseas contractors working with U.S. military forces had no guarantees of medical benefits or worker’s compensation. So while DBA forms can be complicated, it’s better than facing an alternative where you can’t get any benefits as a civilian contractor.

The Defense Base Act protects workers on military bases that are lend-lease located outside of the United States. When the bill was originally passed, the United States was providing military support and aid to 30 overseas countries. After America entered the war on December 7th, 1941, the number of civilian contractors involved grew.

Modifications to the DBA

There have been several more amendments to the Defense Base Act over time. In 1942, the War Hazards Act extended the DBA to cover injuries from war risk as well as give benefits to contractor employees that are captured. In 1953, the act grew to include overseas construction, even if the country isn’t at war.

In 1958, significant changes were made when the term “public works” was redefined. Jobs which focusing on public improvement that are financed by the United States were now covered by the DBA.

It now covered those working under overseas contracts financed by the Mutual Security Act. It also now covered non-citizen employees working under U.S. contractors as well as those working for U.S. welfare and morale organizations.

Need Help Filing a DBA Form?

Do you need help with your DBA forms? Consider hiring a DBA attorney. 

Unsure if a DBA lawyer is right for your situation? This guide will help you establish your needs.

Thomas Barnes has over 20 years of legal experience pertaining to the Defense Base Act. Contact Barns Law Firm today for a free legal consultation about your case.