Do you have the following questions:
Can I get Defense Base Act benefits if I am a foreign citizen?
Can foreign citizens get Defense Base Act benefits?
Are Defense Base Act Benefits Available to Foreign Nationals?
Does the Defense Base Act apply to non-citizens?
Can I get Defense Base Act benefits if I an not a U.S. citizen?
Can I get Defense Base act benefits if I am not from the United States?
Defense Base Act foreign nationals - can I get DBA benefits/ disability/ medical/ money?
If you have any of the these questions about whether you can receive Defense Base Act benefits if you are a foreign national / not a citizen of the United States/ a citizen of another country - then you have come to the right place. This article answers all of these questions and more.
“I give you an insider’s view of the DBA. I don’t sugar coat it for you. I give it to you straight.
No lawyer talk, no double talk. Just good old fashioned, unsweetened truth.”
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley
I know what I’m doing, I’ve got this…
These are famous last words. These are usually last words attributed to a person before their death....
Here, we’re not talking about your literal death. More likely we’re talking about the death of your DBA case. Not good. On any level.
A lot of folks try and represent themselves with their DBA case. And, unfortunately, they tank their case. They end up falling for one of the DBA insurance company’s tricks and traps. And they jack up their case.
I’ve seen it time and again over the years. That’s why I wrote the book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
I strongly suggest that you read this book BEFORE you try and represent yourself, talk to the DBA insurance adjuster, sign any forms or give a statement or do anything else that will jack up your DBA case.
You might also want to check out these reviews of the book on amazon.com.
Can I get Defense Base Act benefits if I am a not from the United States (if I am not a citizen of the United States?
The Defense Base Act applies to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals. Meaning, if you are not a U.S. citizen you can still receive DBA money and medical treatment. If an employee is injured, they get workers’ compensation coverage no matter their nationality. Meaning, no matter where they are from. 33 U.S.C. § 908.
Overview: Are Defense Base Act Benefits Available to Foreign Nationals?
The short answer is that Defense Base Act benefits are available to anyone - no matter what country you are from or what country you are a citizen.
If you work overseas (meaning in a country other than the United States of America) under a government contract, Department of Defense contract and/or a State Department contract then you are eligible for Defense Base Act benefits.
Whether you work in Iraq, Afghanistan and/or anywhere else around the world and you are not a U.S. citizen - you can still receive Defense Base Act benefits.
What foreign citizens need to know about the Defense Base Act
First, a Defense Base Act case is a court case. Meaning, if you are unable to settle your DBA case - whether you receive Defense Base Act benefits will be decided by a Judge.
Second, nothing is more important than your credibility. Meaning, you must tell the truth about everything. If the Judge doesn’t believe you (that is, the Judge thinks you are lying); then you will lose your Defense Base Act case.
Third, your DBA case is against an insurance company. They make money (meaning profits); from denying legitimate Defense Base Act claims like yours. The DBA insurance companies deny legitimate DBA claims all the time.
Fourth, you must not fall for the Defense Base Act insurance company’s tricks and traps.
Win Your Defense Base Act Case
Don't do anything until you read my book!!!
Sixth, before you do anything related to your DBA case - including, but not limited to - talking to the insurance adjuster, signing any forms (do not sign any forms, releases, etc.!!), giving a statement (don't give a statement!!!), going to your next medical appointment, attending an informal conference, attending a Labor Market Survey meeting, giving a deposition, attending a defense medical exam (also called an IME)... or anything else related to your DBA case - - you MUST first read my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
You can order your free copy on this website. I strongly suggest you read my book before you sign any forms, give a recorded or written statement, talk to the adjuster or even hire the WRONG lawyer.
Call us at 619-304-1000 - If you call after regular business hours, when you leave a message, be sure to repeat your name and telephone number twice, so we get it correctly. And be sure to indicate whether it's okay if we respond by text.
Text us at 858-281-8008 - Be sure and put "new DBA case" in your text.
Or leave us a message on this webpage.
Permanent disability commutation for non-US citizens and non-US residents under the DBA
Section 2(b) of the DBA permits commutation of benefits for permanent total and permanent partial disability.
However, temporary disabilities, no matter how long in duration, are not subject to commutation.
Who can collect death benefits in a Defense Base Act case for the death of a foreign national?
In order to receive benefits due to the death of a person that is working overseas for a contractor and/or a person that was covered under the Defense Base Act, you must be a dependent. This means you must be a wife or child of the person that died. Or a father or mother that was supported by the person that died.
Stated differently, dependents in any foreign country are "limited to surviving wife and child or children, or if there be no surviving wife or child or children, to surviving father or mother whom the employee has supported, either wholly or in part, for the period of one year prior to the date of the injury."
Death benefits under the DBA
What are the death benefits under the Defense Base Act?
Generally, death benefits are half of the employee's average weekly earnings to the surviving spouse or to one child, and two-thirds of earnings for two or more such survivors, up to the current maximum weekly rate.
Death benefit commutations for foreign nationals
Section 2(b) of the Defense Base Act permits commutation of benefits in case of death.
Upon the application of the insurance carrier shall, commute all future installments of compensation to be paid to such aliens by paying or causing to be paid to them one-half of the commuted amount of such future installments of compensation as determined by the Secretary of Labor.
Commutation of DBA benefits by foreign nationals
In some ways the Defense Base Act benefits are different for U.S. citizens than non U.S. citizens. One way the DBA is different for people that are not citizens of the United States is the commutation of DBA death benefits. Meaning, that the DBA insurance company can settle your DBA case with a lump-sum settlement differently.
What is the zone of special danger doctrine and does it apply to foreign nationals?
The zone of special danger rule states that almost all injuries and death while you are working for an overseas civilian contractor is covered by the Defense Base Act. Thus, recreational injuries and non-working injuries and deaths are covered by the Defense Base Act.
Whether you are playing soccer,lifting weights, walking down the road, taking a taxi or most anything else - and you are injured (or a family member is killed) - then you can probably still recover Defense Base Act benefits.
The zone of special danger rule applies to U.S. citizens and foreign nationals/ foreign citizens also.
Top 10 Defense Base Act Questions
The Department of Labor Defense Base Act Case Summary
The U.S. Department of Labor published a DBA Case Summary by nation by fiscal year. In addition, to the list being maintained by fiscal year, there is also a running DBA CUMULATIVE REPORT BY NATION (09/01/2001 - 03/31/2019) .
The Nation indicates the country where the injury or death occurred. The list is instructive in that it shows where DBA cases are being initiated during the respective time frame. In the past I have criticized the list for various reasons.
Here is a list of DBA cases by Nation, listed in the Case Summary:
IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN, KUWAIT, UNITED STATES, MARSHALL ISLANDS, PUERTO RICO, GERMANY, QATAR, IN-FLIGHT, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, COLOMBIA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, JAPAN, DJIBOUTI, ANTARCTICA, KOREA, REPUBLIC OF, JORDAN, SAUDI ARABIA, PAKISTAN, BAHAMAS, KOSOVO, BAHRAIN, CUBA, THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC of MACEDONIA, ISRAEL, ASCENSION ISLAND (BRITISH), HONDURAS, UNITED KINGDOM, HAITI, OMAN, SUDAN, ITALY, CHINA, LIBERIA, PHILIPPINES, ROMANIA, RUSSIAN FEDERATION, TURKEY, TAIWAN, KENYA, UGANDA, IRELAND, INDIA, THAILAND, NIGER, SOUTH SUDAN, SOUTH AFRICA, KYRGYZSTAN, EGYPT, INDONESIA, SOMALIA, CHAD, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, UNITED STATES MINOR OUTLYING ISLANDS, VIETNAM, UZBEKISTAN, ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, GUAM, SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLIC, PERU, EL SALVADOR, AUSTRALIA, DEMOCRATIC PEOPLES REPUBLIC OF KOREA, MEXICO, SPAIN, UKRAINE, GREECE, NIGERIA, GUATEMALA, POLAND, GREENLAND, PANAMA, BELGIUM, CROATIA, GEORGIA, SIERRA LEONE, GHANA, CONGO, HUNGARY, CYPRUS, GUINEA, ETHIOPIA, KAZAKHSTAN, LEBANON, SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO, SINGAPORE, BURKINA FASO, SENEGAL, YEMEN, BRITISH INDIAN OCEAN TERRITORY, BRAZIL, BULGARIA, MALI, TANZANIA, UNITED REPUBLIC OF, CAMBODIA, NETHERLANDS, MONGOLIA, CANADA, AUSTRIA, CAMEROON, NEPAL, BOLIVIA, LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA, SRI LANKA, ALBANIA, BANGLADESH, ECUADOR, RWANDA, SAINT HELENA, TUNISIA, ARMENIA, ICELAND, PALESTINIAN TERRITORY (OCCUPIED), ZIMBABWE, DUTCH CARIBBEAN, NICARAGUA, NORWAY, GUYANA, MALAWI, MALAYSIA, MYANMAR, TAJIKISTAN, FRANCE, GABON, PORTUGAL, AZERBAIJAN, BENIN, BURUNDI, CHILE, GAMBIA, JAMAICA, LITHUANIA, MOROCCO, MOZAMBIQUE, ZAMBIA, MADAGASCAR, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, ALGERIA, ANGOLA, BOTSWANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN, LATVIA, TURKMENISTAN, ARGENTINA, COSTA RICA, COTE DIVOIRE, HONG KONG, PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF LAO, LUXEMBOURG, MALTA, MAURITANIA, NEW ZEALAND, PARAGUAY, SURINAME, TIMOR-LESTE, VENEZUELA, VIRGIN ISLANDS (U.S.), ALAND ISLANDS, BELIZE, CZECH REPUBLIC, FIJI, REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, NAMIBIA, SWITZERLAND, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO, URUGUAY, BARBADOS, THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO, DOMINICA, ESTONIA, GUINEA-BISSAU, MAURITIUS, SLOVAKIA, SLOVENIA, SWEDEN, VIRGIN ISLANDS (BRITISH), AMERICAN SAMOA, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, DENMARK, EQUATORIAL GUINEA, ERITREA, FINLAND, GUADELOUPE, KIRIBATI, LESOTHO, FEDERATED STATES OF MICRONESIA, PALAU, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, REUNION, SAMOA, SAN MARINO, SEYCHELLES, SOLOMON ISLANDS, SWAZILAND
This article isn't legal advice
These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, photos and/or discussions do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why Defense Base Act cases are not won and/or are not as successful as one might hope.
Just because we have gotten great results in so many other Defense Base Act cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Including, your case. Every case is different.