"The truth is always multiplex." - Samuel R. Delany
Let's Start with The Basics
If someone in your family was injured while working as an overseas civilian contractor, he or she is likely covered under the Defense Base Act (DBA). This is a workers' compensation program that provides medical and financial benefits for victims and their families.
Workers who are killed on the job are also entitled to these payments, and death benefits can be paid to family members for many years into the future—but many families will never collect these benefits.
3 Common Problems Families Face After a DBA Injury
You should be aware that the DBA can provide many different forms of payment to injured overseas civilian contractors. If your relative is completely disabled, the victim can receive two-thirds of his weekly earnings. Depending on the injury, this could be for a set time or for the rest of their life. If a relative is killed a child or surviving spouse can get death benefits up to half an the deceased relative's average weekly earnings.
But first, you will have to know how to press your claim. Families often lose out on their rightful DBA benefits due to:
- Paperwork errors. Contractors may work in foreign countries, but they are still subject to U.S. law. After an injury, it is up to the company in charge to supply a worker with the appropriate forms and information to collect benefits. These companies often do not have forms on hand, do not have human resources departments, or know next to nothing about collecting DBA benefits. When this happens you can still win your claim. But you have to take the right steps.
- Civilian rights. Many people working under government contracts are foreign nationals hired as linguists and security forces. These much-needed civilian staff are often overlooked in benefit cases, simply because their families do not know the coverage exists, or because the employer refuses to pay valid claims.
- Location problems. Injured contractors may be given medical treatment overseas, be flown to a nearby U.S. medical base, or even be taken several countries away for treatment, making it difficult to get in contact with him or her. If your loved one is missing in a war zone, your relative’s employer may refuse to pay out benefits until he or she is located, potentially costing you and your family much-needed income.
How To Avoid These Problems
There are two things you can do to avoid these issues and help your family member win their your DBA case:
1. Do Your Research
2. Tell The Truth
It's important you actively research what you are going to need, what you need to avoid and what to look for when it comes to your family member's DBA case. Learn the basics of DBA Law system in a way that actually makes sense with my book, "Win Your Defense Base Act Case". I offer this book for FREE here. You can check out the Amazon reviews for the book if you aren't sure if it's actually going to help you.
There is also my podcast at DBAradio.com where I cover important DBA issues.
Look you may think telling the truth about a DBA case in court is common sense. So why am I telling you this? You already know it. But the thing is when DBA claimants are frustrated with their case, want the process to be over more quickly, or are in need of those financial benefits right away they tend to exaggerate some of the details of their case.
This is a big fat "no-no". If the judge even thinks for a second that your relative is lying about or exaggerating any detail of their case then your relative is going to lose their case. It's just how it is. So it is your job to make sure that your relative stays as honest as possible with everything they say to you, to their lawyer, to the judge, to the DBA insurance company, to anyone.
Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.