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My husband died while working as a contractor in Iraq. I know that I am eligible for benefits, but that’s all I know. How do I access death benefits under the Defense Base Act?

Form LS-201 (Notice of Employee's Injury or Death) and Form LS-262 (Claim for Death Benefits)

A Death Overseas

If a Defense Base Act employee dies in the course of his employment, his family is entitled to DBA death benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, even if the death did not occur during work hours. Death benefits include burial expenses as well as on-going benefit payments.

Burial Expenses

The family of the employee will receive a one-time lump sum to cover reasonable burial expenses. Payment for burial expenses may not exceed $3,000.

DBA Death Benefits

Death benefits are paid to the surviving spouse or to a surviving child. If the employee is not married and has no surviving children, the benefits will go to his next of kin. This may include grandchildren, parents, adoptive parents, or siblings.

If the employee is survived by a spouse and up to one child, benefits are calculated as half of the employee's average weekly earnings. If there are two or more surviving children, the benefits are increased to two-thirds of the employee's average weekly wage, up to the current maximum weekly rate of $1,346.68. Benefits to children are payable until age 18 (age 23 if the child is a college student). Benefits to the spouse are payable for life unless the spouse remarries.

If the death was caused by injury, the claim for DBA benefits must be filed within one year of the death. If the death occurred as a result of an occupational disease such as mesothelioma, the claim must be filed within two years of the date that the surviving family member became aware of the connection between the employee’s occupation, the disease, and the death.  However, a surviving spouse may be able to apply for benefits even if the allotted time has passed.

How to Apply for Benefits

In order to obtain death benefits, you must provide the employer with written notice of your spouse’s death using Form LS-201 (Notice of Employee's Injury or Death). You must also file Form LS-262 (Claim for Death Benefits) with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. The form should be filed within one year of the death.

Overwhelmed? The skilled and compassionate Defense Base Act attorneys at the Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC can help. To learn more, call us at (619) 234-2833.

DBA Attorney Defense Base Act Lawyer

“I’ll tell you what the public likes more than anything. It’s the rarest commodity in the world honesty.” - Merle Haggard               

My Best Advice

Nothing is more important when handling your case, then speaking the truth. People who believe if they sugarcoat their case, it will help them win more money. Wrong.

You have to be up-front, honest, and truthful to your attorney and the judge. If a judge suspects your not telling the truth, you can say goodbye to your case. Count on it. I have seen it time and time again.

My Second Best Advice

Take the time to research your case. The more homework you do, the better your case. Order 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.

And before you do, check out the 5 Star Amazon Reviews my book has received. This book will be the best thing for helping you take the necessary steps to win your Defense Base Act Case. 

Check out my podcast at DBAradio.com where I cover important DBA issues.

Disclaimer: 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. Thanks, Bill Turley

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