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Did you know that the Defense Base Act is a workers’ compensation program for certain contracted employees? It pays medical and salary benefits to contractors hurt while working on various US defense installations or international public works.

The DBA, or Defense Base Act, may not be a well-known insurance. But, it is worth learning about if you are a contracted employee with the military.

Were you injured on the job? You, as a contracted employee, may be eligible for Defense Base Act payments. However, you may not know how the Defense Base Act works or what it covers.

What Is the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act is a workers’ compensation law. It expands the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act benefits for laborers working outside of the United States.

The DBA was enacted in 1941 and reinforced by the War Hazards Compensation Act in 1942. It had amendments in 1953 and 1958 to widen its scope.

The Defense Base Act applies to federal contractors who work on military facilities outside of the United States and for international public works contracts. Certain contractors must carry workers’ compensation insurance that fulfills what the Defense Base Act requires to protect their employees from on-the-job injuries.

Contractors can get this insurance from approved insurance firms. They can also request permission to self-insure.

The DBA is important for business owners doing business with the United States government. There are many consequences for employers that do not comply. Noncompliance is a crime punishable by a fine and/or a year in prison. 

What Does the Defense Base Act Cover?

The benefits generally related to workers’ compensation insurance are covered by DBA insurance. This involves paying for medical bills as well as death and disability payouts. A worker has coverage if an incident occurs while on the job and it does not have to happen during working hours.

Employees get two-thirds of their typical weekly earnings. It also compensates people with partial impairments.

Defense Base Act insurance will cover civilian employees who help the military in overseas countries. It’s a sort of workers’ compensation that covers employees from all around the world.

Contractors can get this insurance from recognized insurance firms. Or, they can request permission to self-insure.

The DBA applies to private contractors working on military facilities, those working on government contracts abroad, and other businesses that provide military services. DBA insurance covers medical expenses as well as death and disability benefits.

What Should You Know About the Defense Base Act Coverage?

The Defense Base Act insurance extends to all workers, not only citizens of the United States. It applies to international employers who hire people from other countries.

The Defense Base Act covers the main contractor as well as any subcontractors. It also applies regardless of the contract’s duration, whether it’s a few days, a year, or more.

The Defense Base Act covers civilian contractors who serve the US military overseas. This ranges from food service employees to security personnel.

Individuals working in construction, public works, or maintenance in US territories, or other countries, are also covered. The DBA also includes people working in humanitarian relief, like the Peace Corps, and recovery efforts. 

History of the Defense Base Act

The Defense Base Act, or DBA, was enacted in 1941, just months before America joined World War II. The DBA’s original goal was to provide workers’ compensation insurance to civilians working for private contractors located on military stations in other countries. The DBA was later expanded to accommodate other groups.

There are four types of civilian workers covered under this act. The coverage is regardless of whether employees are citizens of the United States or foreign nationals.

How Does Defense Base Act Insurance Work?

The DBA is a requirement for those working outside the country. Whether they are private military contractors on military sites or properties used by the US for military purposes. If a company hires employees at food stores on U.S. military facilities around the world, DBA is a must.

The DBA is a requirement for contracts with any US government agency for public work. This includes building and engineering contracts related to national defense or any foreign war activities.

Workers employed by a business as part of a bridge-building project in another country, and are under a contract with the US Army, have coverage. It covers contracts sanctioned and funded by the US under the Foreign Assistance Act, which provides for the sales of military weapons, equipment, services, and materials to US allies if the contract is outside of the US.

Included are companies hired by charitable organizations that use individuals from the civilian population to do the work. Also covered are American companies that provide health services outside of the United States for the advantage of the Armed Services.

The DBA is a federal law that extends the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, or LHWCA. The LHWCA offers compensation to land-based marine workers injured on the job.

Medical treatment, short and long-term disability, and rehabilitative services are all covered under the LHWCA. Keep in mind that some state workers’ compensation laws may be more beneficial than the federal program.

What Parts of the World Are Covered by the Defense Base Act?

The Defense Base Act is a law that applies all over the world. Under the Defense Base Act, if you work for a company that has contracts with the Department of Defense or the Department of State, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. 

What Are the Benefits Provided Under the Defense Base Act?

Under the Defense Base Act, there are several available benefits. Lost wages, medical benefits, death benefits, and in some cases, vocational rehabilitation benefits.

What Kind of Deadlines Apply to the Defense Base Act?

You have 30 days to tell your company of your injuries. But, you should do so immediately and seek medical attention. You also have one year from the time of the incident to make a Defense Base Act claim following the injury.

What to Do if You Are Injured on the Job and Are Covered by the Defense Base Act 

When you are hurt, the first thing you should do is report it to your boss as soon as possible. You may need to complete an injury notice.

After that, you should get medical treatment. Make sure you get a record of your doctor visits since this could be key evidence further on in your claim.

Still have questions about the Defense Base Act? We can help you! Contact us, or check out our blog section for helpful information.

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