Are you a contractor working overseas? If so, you likely already know that your working income is protected by the Defense Base Act (DBA).
What you may not know is that, even under the DBA, your compensation isn’t a given. To receive just compensation, you need to file a timely DBA claim. This requires a lot of time, knowledge, and proper documentation.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a step-by-step guide to DBA claims and what the claim process should look like.
Step 1: Seek Medical Attention
The first thing you should do after you suffer an injury at work is to seek medical attention. You should do that even if it’s not an emergency.
Worried about the financial impact of going to a doctor? Good news: the DBA will compensate you for any medical treatment. The sooner you get treatment, the better your chances of receiving medical benefits.
Your employer or DBA insurance company may recommend a specific doctor. That said, you’re entitled to get treatment with the doctor of your choice. The insurance case manager doesn’t have to be present with you.
Step 2: Report the Injury Right Away
Even if your injury seems minor, you should report it. That way, your employer will have it documented in case it turns for the worse.
When reporting the injury, make sure to complete Form LS-201. Once an employer receives it, they must notify the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. They’ll do so by submitting Form LS-202.
If your employer doesn’t file the correct form, you must submit Form LS-203. If necessary, submit the claim for death benefits (Form LS-262). Send these documents to the Department of Labor at 201 Varick Street.
Step 3: Collect Documentation
When filing a claim, having proper documentation is essential. You’ll want to keep track of it throughout the process.
First, collect your injury and incident reports. These reports provide a detailed timeline of events for your case. This is why getting medical documentation close to the time of the accident is important.
Next, you’ll need your medical reports. This is the main factor that determines your compensation. If you require ongoing treatment for your injury, keep every record, no matter how unnecessary it seems.
Keep track of any documentation relating to your case. This can include emails, written records, and phone calls. The more documents you’re able to provide, the less likely your DBA claim is to get denied.
While collecting documentation, you should also include your wage records. If you don’t have these records, get them from your employer.
Finally, you should keep a copy of your original DBA claim. There’s a good chance you or your lawyer may need to reference it in the future.
Getting Help With Filing DBA Claims
As you can see, filing DBA claims can be an arduous process. On top of following the above steps, you’ll need to meet strict deadlines. If you can’t adhere to these deadlines, your compensation may be at risk.
Need help with filing a DBA claim? If so, consider hiring an experienced DBA attorney to support you through the claim process. Fill out this form for a free initial consultation!