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The Defense Base Act (DBA) is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Worke’s Compensation Act. It provides compensation and medical benefits to employees who have been injured, and death benefits to survivors of employees on US government contracts, working overseas.



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What is covered under the Defense Base Act?If you aren’t sure if you have a claim, reach out to attorneys who are very experienced in Defense Base Act cases. The DBA generally applies under these circumstances:



  • Work for private employers on US military bases or on lands used by the US for military purposes outside of the USA

  • Public work contracts with a US government agency

  • Contacts on approved and funded by the US

  • Work for an American employer providing welfare outside the US for the benefit of the armed services. 


If any of these criteria are met, then all employees working in these kinds of employment, whether US citizens or residents, host country nationals or third-country nationals, are all covered under the DBA.


What type of benefits are allowed under the Defense Base Act?


The Defense Base Act can provide disability and medical benefits to employees who have been injured while at work, or death benefits to survivors of employees who have been killed at work. Compensation will vary depending on the injury and is payable for loss of earnings.


Death benefits are paid out as half of the average weekly earnings of the employee to a surviving spouse or one child. If there are two or more eligible survivors, then two-thirds of the average weekly earnings may be paid out. The DBA also includes help with the payment of reasonable funeral costs. 


Disability and death benefits may be payable for life. If an employee has been injured, then they are entitled to seek medical treatment by a doctor of their choosing. 


What insurance companies provide DBA coverage?


Many insurance companies are authorized to write DBA coverage. However, there are three main insurance carriers who deal provide most DBA coverage. These are ACE USE Companies, American International Group Companies, and CNA. 


What is the employer doesn’t have insurance coverage for government contractors? 


If an employer fails to secure a fair payment of compensation, the injured employer or the survivors of an employee who was killed, have the option to sue the employer for damages. In this case, the defendant may not plead that the injury was caused by the negligence of the employee, or that the employee assumed and understood their employment was risky. 


An employer who has failed to secure proper compensation payment is also guilty of a misdemeanor and may be punished with a fine or imprisonment. In some cases, the president, secretary, and treasurer may also be liable, either personally or jointly with the corporation. 


If you have been injured while working overseas on a government contract, you may be entitled to a DBA claim. Seek legal advice to find out if you have a case and how best to proceed.


 


 


 

 

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