Workers’ Compensation Protection for Overseas Government Employees

Workers’ Compensation Protection for Overseas Government Employees

Nov 19, 2021 | Defense Base Act

Have you had an accident while working for the US government abroad? If you are a government worker overseas, then you are protected with worker’s compensation. But how well do you know your rights regarding this policy?

The Defense Base Act (DBA) is in place to protect you but does have some rules and stipulations. Read on as we tell you how government employees can benefit. 

What is the Defense Base Act? 

The Defense Base Act is set up for civilian workers working outside the US on military bases or under contract for public works and national defense jobs. It provides them with workers’ compensation should they face injury on the job.

Who Does It Cover?

The DBA covers a number of overseas government employees working in the interests of the US. Private employees on military bases fall under the DBA, as does anyone working on public contracts within a US government agency. This can mean construction and service contracts related to national defense or war activities.

Projects or contracts funded by the US under the Foreign Assistance Act are also covered. This is generally the cash sale of military equipment and providing services to allies performed outside of the US. Any employees providing welfare services outside the US to the armed forces also qualify.


In the event of injury or death, the DBA will provide medical, disability, and death benefits to the injured or their family. This applies if the injury was sustained during working hours or not. Partial loss of earnings will also count towards compensation for a DBA.

The injured party may choose to be treated by a physician of their choice. You may not commute medical benefits. 

Filing Claims

The process for filing claims generally follows three steps. The first is that the employer must have notification of the injury and its circumstances. If the accident causes the loss of one or more work shifts, an LS-202 form must get submitted within 10 working days.

Following this, a written claim for benefits must go to the Office for Workers Compensation Programmes within one year of the injury. If an agreement on a settlement is not reached, then it may go to the Office of Administrative Law Judges for a formal hearing.


It is possible that some contracts or occupations may have their right to the DBA waivered. This decision has to come from the Secretary of Labor following a request from a Head of Department or other US agency. If granted, this only comes into place if local law workers’ compensation benefits are provided as an alternative.

Government Employees

Now you know the safeguards in place for Government employees, you should have a better understanding of your rights. If you have been injured and you believe you are not being compensated adequately then speak with a professional. They will guide you on the correct path to take. 

Barnes Law Firm is here to help. We serve clients in the US and worldwide and are experts in DBA law. Call us for a free consultation and get the compensation you deserve.