Go to navigation Go to content
Toll-Free: 866-705-4617
Phone: 619-234-2833
The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC

Civilian Contractors - PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Claims

Comments (10)

This post was updated on January 21, 2019 

"Always straight-up, with no sugar added. Just old fashioned, unsweetened truth."

Bill Turley


“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in a lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


One thing is certain, there are many civilian contractors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  If you or loved one is suffering from PTSD symptoms, then the first step is getting help.  That help comes in several forms.  Before we get to that, I want to put all of this into the proper perspective.

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - also called PTSD - is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event or events. Symptoms may include flashback, nightmares, severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event or events. 

I, along with most medical professionals that have experience with PTSD and war theaters - know that "disorder" is simply the wrong term.  This is an "Injury."  Just as real as a leg injury or a back injury.  More so, for many. 

The two main factors that will determine whether you win your PTSD claim

There are two main factors that will either "win" or "lose" your PTSD case.   A DBA case is a court case. Your case will be decided by a Judge.  Never lose sight of you having to prove your case in court in order for you to recover money benefits and receive medical treatment. 

The two main factors are whether the Judge believes you or not and the evidence. Let's take a quick look at both of these factors. 

You have to tell the truth

The first main factor that will determine whether you win your case is whether the judge believes you or not. Nothing is more important than your credibility. Nothing else is even close.  You have to tell the truth about everything. Don't fudge, don't exaggerate. If the Judge doesn't believe you - then you will lose. It is just that simple.

The problem here is that the insurance company will try to lay tricks and traps in order for the Judge to question your credibility. They are easy to avoid if, and only if, you spot them first. Which, most folks, even honest well meaning folks, miss. I lay all of this out in my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.  Go here to read all of the 5 Star reviews on Amazon.com.

You need persuasive medical evidence

Second, is you need persuasive and credible medical evidence. You will need a medical doctor to diagnose your PTSD and relate it to the traumatic events that happened to you while you are overseas. You will need a well written and reasoned medical report that supports your case.

Filing a Claim

You need to file a claim under the Defense Base Act (DBA). This  is a workers’ compensation program for overseas civilian contractors.   A claim is started by filing a form LS-203 with the United States Department of Labor and providing a copy to the employer you worked for overseas. I suggest that you have your lawyer file you claim for you. I suggest you read my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case before you talk to the insurance adjuster, sign any forms or even hire the wrong lawyer.


Medical Treatment

You need medical treatment in order to get better. Under the DBA you are entitled to medical treatment. However, as a practical matter the DBA insurance company is probably going to deny your claim and refuse to provide medical treatment.

This is why it is always better to lawyer up, before a claim is filed.


You Don’t Have To Pay An Attorney

Generally, the insurance company should pay your attorney fees. You should never have to directly pay your attorney in order to handle one of these claims.

Depending on where you live, it may be difficult to find a seasoned Defense Base Act lawyer that knows how to handle civilian contractors - PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Claims.  In a nutshell, the Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Compensation Act. Because of this, the very best lawyers handling these civilian contractor claims are lawyers that have been handling Longshore Act claims for years.

For example, our main office is in San Diego, with the largest shipyard on the West Coast all with workers that have claims that fall under the Longshore Act.


Medical Treatment Revisited

You are entitled to what is called a free choice of physician. For many folks, finding a doctor that is experienced with combat theater PTSD is difficult. Because of this, we sometimes need to hook folks up with good psychologists via video conference. Many of our clients actually prefer this, because of the convenience.


Money Benefits

While you are either temporarily totally disabled or permanently and totally disabled (these are legal terms which basically translate into you not being able to work in a war zone due to the PTSD); you are entitled to significant weekly disability benefits.  In most instances, your lawyer can probably negotiate a lump-sum settlement or an ongoing weekly disability benefit. Oftentimes these cases settle for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Sometimes claims need to be taken to court.  However, as long as you tell the truth, you will have a good chance of prevailing.  Nothing is more important that your credibility is winning these cases.


More Information

Be sure to request a free copy of my new book:

Win Your Defense Base Act Case:
The Ultimate Plain English No B.S. Roadmap
To The Medical Treatment and Money
You and Your Family Deserve


Click here to see all the great 5 Star reviews of the book on amazon.com.


Or call my office 619-234-2833

We represent more injured overseas civilian contractors than any other law firm on the West Coast. We are one of the two largest DBA law firms in the world. We represent overseas civilian contractors all over the U.S.A. and the world.

Offices in Oakland, San Francisco, Bakersfield, Los Angeles and San Diego.


I can't stress this enough

If you have followed my book or this website, you have probably heard my rants about PTSD being the wrong title for folks that have post-traumatic stress. It shouldn't be called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - it should be called Post-Traumatic Stress Injury.  Because that's what it is - an injury.

I am not the only one that feels this way.  Most of the doctors I talk to feel the same way.


William Turley
Connect with me
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
My husband (friend) spent 4 years in Afghanistan as a contractor,...
Posted by Carmon Palmer on August 9, 2018 at 10:39 PM
I was contactor from 3/2003 until I got wounded in a rocket attack in 3/2011
Posted by Sam Kallabat on July 23, 2018 at 01:17 AM
Hi, I've found your post to be very interesting not to mention informative. I am a former civilian contractor deployed overseas for seven years in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan as a supply Technician. It has been almost 7 years since, I returned to the states and, I still have a really difficult time sleeping, focusing. I very recently experienced a heart attack and my doctor said it was the result of not getting enough sleep and stress.
Posted by Paticia on June 14, 2018 at 02:31 PM
I'm a civilian contractor I spent 3+ years in Iraq plus 3+ years in Afghanistan. I am having a hard time with memory and sleep.
Posted by Keith Valentine Sr on May 21, 2018 at 01:06 PM
I need a copy of your book win my defense base claims
Posted by Thomas sarpong on November 19, 2017 at 03:24 PM
Has anyone filed a claim for sleep apnea
Posted by David on March 19, 2017 at 12:53 PM
I need to know the process in order to file a claim. I am suffer from PTSD.
Posted by Lyndon Bowen on May 22, 2016 at 04:03 AM
Is there a time frome to file a dba claimed after you have ended employment? I worked as a security contractor for 3.5 years and think I suffer from a range of PTSD symptoms
Posted by Tracy Rose on May 8, 2015 at 12:12 AM
I was a us contractor also im a retired military vet. my question is do I need to file a va form or dba ls 203 for ptsd
Posted by richard feldman on September 1, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Hi, I am not writing because I have a case but instead I am writing because I am researching PTSD. I am a former SF medic and now PA and I have worked in Iraq for the last 7 years. I am in a Doctoral program and writing a dissertation on PTSD. The focus is on contractors with PTSD and why they generally do not seek medical help. What I think you could help me with is some words on what you have seen and some of the reasons these gentlemen do not seek care or the problems they face with insurance or loss of employment when they do seek help. Your input would be very much appreciated. Thanks, Brent Kunzler PA-C
Posted by Brent KunzLer on July 20, 2014 at 02:51 PM

Post a Comment

To reply to this message, enter your reply in the box labeled "Message", hit "Post Message."


Email:* (will not be published)


Notify me of follow-up comments via email.

Live Chat