The Defense Base Act Application Process: Everything You Need to Know

If you or a family member sustained an injury while working overseas as a U.S. contractor or subcontractor, you might be considering filing a Defense Base Act claim.

As you ponder this, you likely have a slew of questions regarding how to file a claim, the timeline in which you must file, and what information you should have readily available. A skilled attorney is the best point of contact regarding the Defense Base Act application process.

The application requires attention to detail and meeting specific legal standards. Here, we discuss some basic information regarding the 5 Ws of filing a Defense Base Act application

Who Can File a Defense Base Act Application?

To file a successful Defense Base Act application, you must first fall under the protected class of individuals the Defense Base Act law is intended to protect.

This means that you are a civilian employee working outside the United States on military bases or under U.S. government contracts for public works and national defense. You must also have sustained a work-related injury. Work-related is a broad term, as you need not necessarily have been at work when the injury occurred. 

The Defense Base Act is precise. Check with an experienced Defense Base Act attorney, and they can determine whether you should file a Defense Base Act application.

What Do You Need to File a Defense Base Act Application?

The first step in Defense Base Act cases is notifying your employer of your injury. Be sure to send the claim to your supervisor and at least one other person in authority above them. Make sure your notice is in writing and that you can verify providing the notice. Email and fax are good options. A phone call or in-person conversation is not enough.

The next steps are even more intricate. There are specific items you will need to file a Defense Base Act claim. These include:

  • Numerous forms provided by the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (by mail or electronically);
  • Medical information regarding your injury, including proof of office visits; 
  • Your wage information (such as paystubs, housing stipend proof, etc.); and
  • A list of witnesses to the injury, if applicable.

Your attorney can assist you in gathering information relating to each of these items and file the required documents. You should never trust an employer to file on your behalf.

Another thing to note regarding filing is that in certain circumstances as an injured party you should receive an LS-201 form (Notice of Employee’s Injury or Death). Your lawyer can address this if you do not receive it. 

When to File a Defense Base Act Application

Like any workers’ compensation or personal injury claim, Defense Base Act applications are time-sensitive. For most types of injuries, you must file a Defense Base Act claim within one year of the sustained injury. If your injury involves an occupational disease, such as hearing loss, you have two years from the time you learned of the disability to file a claim.

Given the medical information and forms mentioned above that you and the attorney must address, begin working with a Defense Base Act law firm as soon as you can.

Where to File a Defense Base Act Application

You can file claims with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation. The U.S. government provides electronic and fax filing options to file.

Your Defense Base Act lawyer can file your claim and keep you informed of the filing and application review by the government.

Why You Should Have an Attorney to File a Defense Base Act Application

To have the best chance for a successful Defense Base Act application, you need a lawyer. Because of their experience, Defense Base Act attorneys can make sure all application items are submitted in full and in the appropriate time frame and method. However, to do this, you must first contact them!

In addition, if for some reason your application is denied, that same attorney can advise you regarding the appeals process and will stand ready to handle that appeal.

There is no guarantee regarding receiving compensation from a Defense Base Act claim, but you surely will not be successful without a correctly presented application.

Grossman Attorneys at Law: Working to Get Clients the Compensation They Deserve!

At Grossman Attorneys at Law our attorneys know Defense Base Act claims and have handled countless claims successfully. We understand the stress and fear Defense Base Act-related incidents and claims can cause and are therefore available around the clock.

Our team of lawyers ensures that there will be no attorney fees or costs to you unless we recover benefits for you. Reach us online or by calling 1-800-940-8048. We offer translators in Portuguese, French, German, Spanish, and Arabic.

When you need help, contact us.

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