Disabilities Under the DBA
Under the Defense Base Act, there are four different and distinct categories of disabilities:
1. Permanent total disability
2. Temporary total disability
3. Permanent partial disability
4. Temporary partial disability
Click Here for an article on Nature and Extent of Disability.
Temporary Total Disability
Under the Defense Base Act you are entitled to Temporary Total Disability benefits if you are unable to perform your usual and customary DBA employment and your doctor has not declared you have reached maximum medical improvement. Stated in it’s simplest terms, if you can’t work and your doctor hasn’t released you yet you should be getting a workers’ compensation check (a TTD check) during that time period.
How Much Weekly TTD Should I Be Getting?
You are entitled to 2/3's of your average weekly wage up to the maximum compensation rate. For example the maximum compensation rate for injuries occurring between 10/01/2012 and 09/30/2013 is $1,325.18.
First off, you need to understand that the DBA insurance companies deny claims left and right when the Claimant has all the necessary documentation. But oftentimes, the reason why the DBA insurance company is denying benefits is because there is not proper documentation.
You are going to need your doctor writing a report (it can be in handwriting) that says you are injured due to your DBA employment (meaning while you were overseas) and you are currently unable to work (or do your customary DBA employment) due to your injuries.
Here it is important for your doctor to understand your work. Being able to work a desk job or even working at Walmart is far different from wearing body armor and having to run for a shelter in the middle of the night.
It's Time To Do Something
If the DBA insurance company has sent you an LS-207 - Notice of Controversion, you need to make sure you read it and get the documentation necessary to overcome the reasons why the DBA insurance company is denying your claim. This is no time to dilly dally. You need to do two things. First, go get the evidence needed to win your case. Second, you need to immediately request an Emergency Informal Conference. This is a get in line to wait system. he quicker you get your case to the Judge's office waiting in line for your trial and then your Decision and Order the quicker you will get y our TTD benefits. Oftentimes, the threat of a trial will get the DBA insurance company to provide benefits or settle cases.
If this has happened to you, right about now would be a good time for you hire the best DBA lawyer you can find. Hey, know this - hiring a DBA lawyer doesn't have to be painful or stressful. It doesn't have to be and it shouldn't be.
The Turley and Mara Law Firm are asked by injured DBA workers across the United States (and the world) to represent them. We hae a global practice and reprsent folks from all over the world. Our goal is simple: Get you the DBA medical and financial benefits your deserve.
We are based in San Diego, California. This is a benefit to you. Few Defense Base Act lawyers have been handling DBA cases longer than us. The Defense Base Act falls under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. Bill Turley has been handling Longshore Act cases since 1987. Because San Diego has the largest shipyard on the west coast with thousands of shipyard workers, Bill gained valuable experience with these cases long before the United States sent civilian workers to Iraq and Afghanistan. That experience helps him win Defense Base Act cases.
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Get answers to your Defense Base Act questions answered BEFORE you sign any DBA insurance company releases, give a statement to the DBA insurance adjuster, hire the wrong lawyer for your case, or take any other important steps.
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.