The Defense Base Act
The Defense Base Act:
The DBA In Plain English:
The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a federal workers’ compensation law which covers injuries, occupational illness, and deaths of civilian workers who are employed by companies overseas on a military base or who are working on public projects overseas under contract with the Department of Defense or any of its agencies. For example, a civilian working on a military base overseas building a warehouse under a contract with the Defense Department is covered by the DBA. Likewise, a civilian who is working overseas on a public works project off of a military base under a contract with the Defense Department is also covered by the DBA. Wherever in the world overseas civilians are working for a company which aids the government of the United States, whether associated with the military or not, such a worker is covered by the Defense Base Act.
At this time, all DBA claims filed with the U.S. Department of Labor which arise out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Turkey, the countries in the Middle East, Europe and South America, are handled and supervised by the Second Compensation District of the U.S. Department of Labor. Their office is located at 201 Varick Street, New York, New York, which is approximately twenty minutes from our office in Hoboken, New Jersey. My firm handles DBA cases on a national level, with clients residing in such states as California, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
THE DEFENSE BASE ACT EXPLAINED
The Defense Base Act (DBA) (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1651) applies to civilian workers who are injured or killed overseas while working on a military base or working under a contract with the U.S. Government. Such a contract could be the building of an embassy, road, school, or dam or any other structure or service. The DBA originally covered civilians working at military bases but later it was expanded to cover civilians working on construction projects overseas for the U.S. government. The coverage was further expanded to include workers injured while performing service contracts overseas in connection with a contract with the government for a particular project or national defense activity.
The DBA incorporates the provisions of the Longshore and Harborworkers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) (33 U.S.C. Sec. 901, et seq) by reference. Therefore, all of the provisions regarding filing a claim and available benefits are found in the LHWCA.
The Longshore and Harborworkers’ Compensation Act :
DBA REQUIREMENTS IF YOU ARE INJURED
Under the Defense Base Act, you must notify your employer of your injury within 30 days of the accident. The 30 days notice requirement also applies to deaths. The notice requirement is extended for certain occupational disease and injury claims.
In addition to giving notice, you must file an Employee Claim For Compensation within one year of the date of the accident or last payment of compensation, whichever is later. Such a claim must be filed with one of the district offices of the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. There are district offices located in New York, Boston, Baltimore, Norfolk, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Houston, San Francisco, Long Beach, Seattle, and Honolulu.
To help you, Defense Base Act Attorneys are located near the New York District Office.