Under the Defense Base Act, the DBA insurance company may try and use a Labor Market Survey in order to reduce your DBA benefits. In order to understand what the purpose of the Labor Market Survey, you need to first understand the difference between scheduled injuries and unscheduled injures under the DBA.
Under the DBA if you have an unscheduled injury, your permanent disability benefits are based upon your wage loss. Meaning the difference between what you made as a DBA employee and what you are able to earn in your geographical area considering your physical disability, education, aptitudes and work experience.
A Tool To Reduce You and Your Family’s DBA Benefits
The insurance company will set up an appointment for you to meet with their Labor Market Survey person. This person will try and find jobs in your geographical area that you can perform. Then the DBA insurance company will try and use these jobs to decrease your weekly permanent disability award.
A Concerning Example (or why this is important to you and your family)
For example: You earned $2,200 per week as a DBA employee. You had a disabling back injury that prevents you from returning to work at your DBA employment. You return to your geographical area (say, Fresno, California). The Labor Market Survey states that there are jobs that you are qualified to perform in the Fresno area where you can earn $1,900 considering your physical disability, education, aptitudes and work experience.
If the Judge believes and credits the Labor Market Survey - your weekly permanent disability award will be as follows:
2/3 x $300 = $200
Thus, you will be entitled to a weekly disability award of $200 for the rest of your life or until you earn more than $1,900 a week, at which point your weekly disability payment will be reduced accordingly.
If the Judge did not believe and/or credit the Labor Market Survey you might be entitled to the maximum DBA compensation rate for the rest of your life:
As you see here - the Labor Market Survey was drastically reduce your weekly compensation award.
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.