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The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

Can overseas aid and relief workers get injury compensation under the Defense Base Act?

It Depends

Injured relief workers are generally covered under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA), which provides workers' compensation coverage to federal and postal workers worldwide for on-the-job injuries and illnesses. However, under certain circumstances, employees of government contractors who are injured while performing public work overseas, including the Civilian Conservation Corps and federal relief workers, are also entitled to Defense Base Act (DBA) compensation.

Relief workers could receive DBA compensation for:

  • Cleanup and aid injuries. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) has confirmed that some relief workers, such as the tsunami and nuclear crisis relief workers in Japan, do qualify for compensation from injuries suffered while providing aid to foreign nations.
  • Injury coverage. The DBA covers all injuries, infections, or occupational diseases suffered as a result of overseas contract work. This can mean coverage for an immediate and acute injury (such as amputation) or a disease that has progressed over time without showing symptoms (such as cancer caused by radiation exposure).
  • Death compensation. Through FECA, the surviving family of any U.S. aid worker who is killed during a relief effort is eligible for compensation. A deceased worker’s widow or widower is entitled to 35 percent of the employee's monthly pay at the time of injury, while children can receive an additional 10 percent per child. Families can also recoup funeral expenses up to $200 in addition to the costs of embalming and transporting the body back to the U.S.

Learn More About Your Rights in Our Free Guide

In order to qualify for benefits, an employee must have been injured in the course of his or her employment under a U.S. government contract. Learn what you need to establish proof of your injury in our free guide, Win Your Defense Base Act Case.


My Best Recommendation For You and Your Defense Base Act Case

The best advice I can give you when it comes to handling your Defense Base Act Case is to always tell the truth. No matter what. You must be frank and honest about your injury. Do not sugar coat or tell a lie. I have seen many Defense Base Act Cases get thrown out due to one little white lie. Your credibility with the judge depends on your honesty. 

Always, no matter what, tell the truth.

My Second Best Recommendation

When it comes to the certainty of your Defense Base Act Case and your future, you need to make sure you are prepared for each and every step along the way. I go over all that information in my free book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case: The Ultimate Straight Talk Roadmap To the Medical Treatment and Money You and Your Family Deserve.


Check out the reviews on Amazon before you order. I promise it is full of useful and helpful information.

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William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”

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