The Requirements to Qualify for the Defense Base Act

The Defense Base Act is a specific federal regulation offering protection to civilian government contractors and subcontractors injured while working a job outside the United States. If you think the Defense Base Act might apply to you, you need a lawyer.

Skilled attorneys who specialize in this area of law know the Defense Base Act requirements and can readily determine whether they apply to your circumstance. Here is what an attorney will investigate regarding whether a client will qualify for Defense Base Act coverage.

Eligibility for Defense Base Act Assistance

The United States Department of Labor governs the Defense Base Act. This act covers defense civilian employees injured in the course of employment (but not necessarily while at work) in specific types of government work.

It is essentially extended workers’ compensation coverage for, among others, those who work in public works or national defense on American military bases outside the United States.

One does not need to be a citizen of the United States to be covered by the Defense Base Act.

Eligible Worker Requirements

An eligible worker for Defense Base Act purposes can be one who works for the government, while outside of the United States, or upon land occupied or used by the government for military or naval purposes in any territory or possession outside the continental United States:

  • For private employers on U.S. military bases;
  • For public works or national defense on American military bases;
  • On property used by the U.S. for military purposes; 
  • On contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Defense Base Act;
  • For American employers providing welfare or similar services for the benefit of the Armed Services; or
  • As an employee during transportation to or from the place of employment, where the employer or the U.S. provides the transportation or the cost thereof.

There are many caveats, additions, and exceptions to this list based on case history and changing laws. Therefore, it is imperative to hire a Defense Base Act law firm to determine whether one’s scope of employment and circumstances render them eligible under the Defense Base Act.

Injury Requirements

Once the legal team determines employment status eligibility, there is an additional crucial consideration regarding the injury.

The Defense Base Act lawyers will evaluate the injury’s existence, cause, and impact. As the Defense Base Act is a type of workers’ compensation, it does not cover pain and suffering damages. However, the Defense Base Act requirements do mandate the lawyer prove that:

  • The worker suffered an injury in the course of employment that warranted medical treatment and/or compensation protection; and
  • The client’s injury clearly makes them eligible for a specific type of Defense Base Act benefit (death benefits, medical treatment, disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation services, etc.).

Death is, of course, the most extreme result of an injury. However, one should not assume their injury is too minor to warrant Defense Base Act coverage. Speak to a lawyer first. 

The Defense Base Act Attorney: Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle

Meeting the Defense Base Act requirements can create hoops for individuals to jump through just to get the help to which they are entitled. Some workers, as a result, find the process cumbersome and do not seek compensation. This is one of the reasons they should contact a Defense Base Act attorney. With the right experience and insight, the lawyer can readily:

  • Meet to discuss your case,
  • Determine whether you qualify for assistance, and
  • Help file the appropriate claims to seek assistance.

There are fundamental laws that address the Defense Base Act requirements. If you or a loved one might be covered under the Defense Base Act, let an attorney untangle these laws and provide the help you deserve. 

Grossman Attorneys At Law: Defense Base Act Experts

At Grossman Attorneys at Law, we provide extraordinary personal attention. We are a family-based practice, and we pride ourselves on being available and attentive to our clients at all times. 

Our Florida-based firm is committed to helping clients litigate Defense Base Act claims.

Attorney Howard S. Grossman, a renowned attorney with 30 years of experience litigating personal injury and workers’ compensation claims, leads a team of caring, experienced professionals who will fight on your behalf. When you need help, contact us via our online form or by calling 1-866-280-1847.

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