Defense Base Act (DBA) FAQ

This page provides basic information on benefits under the Defense Base Act as provided on the U.S. Department of Labor website. This page is not intended to answer all questions. For specific information about your situation, you should speak with a Defense Base Act representative.

What is the Defense Base Act (DBA)?

The Defense Base Act extends the coverage of the Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to civilian employees under contract with the U.S. government performing work overseas. The law provides medical care and compensation for injuries, and death benefits to eligible survivors. Please contact the law firm of Montagna Klein Camden if you have any questions about your case.

Who is covered under the DBA?

You are covered by the Defense Base Act if you fit into one of the following four criteria:

  1. Work for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the U.S. for military purposes outside of the United States, including those in U.S. Territories and possessions;
  2. Work on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense or with war activities outside the United States;
  3. Work on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act, which among other things provides for cash sale of military equipment, materials, and services to its allies, if the contract is performed outside of the United States;
  4. Work for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside the United States for the benefit of the Armed Services, e.g. the United Service Organizations (USO)

What types of benefits are available under the DBA?

Covered employees injured during the course of employment are entitled to receive compensation for temporary total disability at the rate of two-thirds their average weekly earnings, up to a current maximum rate per week. Compensation is also available for partial loss of earnings.

If your loved one dies as a result of an injury on the job, you are entitled to death benefits. Death benefits are paid at the rate of one-half of the employee’s average weekly earnings to a surviving spouse or one child, or two-thirds of average weekly wage for two or more eligible survivors up to the current maximum rate per week. The Defense Base Act also entitles family members to receive money for funeral expenses up to $3,000.

Permanent total disability and death benefits may be payable for life, and are subject to annual cost of living adjustments. The injured employee is also entitled to medical treatment by a physician of his/her choice, as the injury may require.

Can aliens and non-U.S. residents receive DBA benefits?

Yes, aliens and non-U.S. residents may receive benefits under the Defense Base Act, but there are some limitations regarding the amount. We invite you to contact the attorneys of Montagna Klein Camden now to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.

What should I do if I get injured at work?

You should notify your employer immediately. If you need medical treatment, ask your employer to authorize treatment by a doctor of your choice.

How do I obtain medical treatment for my injuries?

If you need medical treatment for your work injury, ask your employer to authorize treatment by a doctor of your choice. If it is an emergency or if you are unable to contact your employer, go to the nearest hospital or physician, but be sure to let your employer know as soon as possible.

How do I obtain compensation for my disability?

If you are disabled more than three days, contact your employer or the insurance company for payment of compensation, which is payable 14 days after your employer has knowledge of injury.

How do I give notice of my injury to my employer?

Give written notice of your injury to your employer on Form LS-201 (Notice of Employee’s Injury or Death) within 30 days. Additional time is provided for certain hearing loss and occupational disease claims.The law firm of Montagna Klein Camden is dedicated to serving you from beginning to end. Call us now, and have an experienced lawyer handle the paperwork while you recover.

How do I file a claim for compensation based on my injury?

File a written claim for compensation with the OWCP district office having jurisdiction of your claim on Form LS-203 (Employee’s Claim for Compensation) within one year after the date of injury or last payment of compensation, whichever is later.Montagna Klein Camden will help you file your claim quickly. Call the law firm of Montagna Klein Camden now.

How do I obtain death benefits?

Give written notice of the employee’s death to the employer on Form LS-201 (Notice of Employee’s Injury or Death) within 30 days. File a written claim for compensation on Form LS-262 (Claim for Death Benefits) with the OWCP district office having jurisdiction of your claim within one year after the date of the employee’s death.Call our law offices for help during this stressful time. We’ll file all the paperwork.

What if the parties to the claim are unable to resolve their dispute(s) informally?

If the parties are unable to resolve their dispute(s) informally, they may request referral of the claim to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) for formal hearing. Decisions rendered by the administrative law judge may be appealed to the Benefits Review Board and thereafter, depending on where the claim is administered, to the U.S. District Court or to the U.S. Court of Appeals.Montagna Klein Camden has the necessary experience to win your case. Call now for a free consultation.