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What is the current weekly compensation rate for Defense Base Act claims in 2019 -2020?

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Defense Base Act Compensation rate - What do I need to know about DBA compensation rates?

“I give you an insider’s view of the DBA. I don’t sugar coat it.  I give it to you straight. No lawyer talk, no double talk. Just good old fashioned, unsweetened truth.” 
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley


Don’t try this at home....

You hear this on TV or on Youtube when some dude is about to set himself on fire, jump off a bridge, get eaten by sharks, stand on a moving motorcycle or do something else that can cause injury or death.... 

You don’t want to be that gal or guy.  Similarly, you don’t want to jack up your DBA case by trying to represent yourself. Seriously. Before you do that, you should check out this article on the Top 10 Defense Base Act questions. (Question No. 2, on the list, and be sure to check Out Questions No. 4 and 6, which are also about hiring a DBA lawyer).  


What is a Defense Base Act Compensation Rate and why is it important to me? 

When you get down to it, there are two benefits under the Defense Base Act: medical treatment and weekly compensation benefits. Although it sounds simple, it's not quite so simple.  

Your weekly compensation benefits are determined by your average weekly wage and whether you have reached maximum medical improvement. If you have not reached maximum medical improvement, and you are not able to perform your usual customary employment overseas, then you are entitled to temporary total disability benefits. 

Under the Defense Base Act - whether it is temporary total disability or permanent disability - you can only receive up to the maximum compensation rate. Which is also known as the Defense Base Act compensation rate. 

Below are the maximum compensation rates for DBA injuries. 


2019 - 2020 Current Weekly Compensation Rate for Defense Base Act Claims 

Every year in October, the compensation rate (that is the weekly benefit that you get from the DBA insurance company) is adjusted. 

If you have a  Defense Base Act claim, you are entitled to weekly compensation benefits. Each year the DBA weekly compensation benefits are increased. What the weekly benefits you receive from the DBA insurance company will largely depend on your date of injury.  


The current maximum DBA compensation rate: from 10/1/2019 - 09/30-2020 is $1560.08

The maximum compensation rate for injuries occurring between 10/01/2018 and 09/30/2019 is $1,510.76

The maximum compensation rate for injuries occurring between 10/1/2017 and 9/30/2018 is $1471.78.

The maximum compensation rate for injuries occurring between 10/01/2016 and 9/30/2017 is $1,436.48

The maximum compensation rate for injuries occurring between 10/01/2015 and 9/30/2016 is $1,406.00

The maximum compensation rate for injuries occurring between 10/01/2014 and 9/30/02015 is $1,377.02


For example, if you are an overseas civilian contractor and you were injured in Afghanistan on November 11, 2018,  and you are at the maximum compensation rate - your compensation rate is $1,510.76. 

What is meant by "maximum?" 

"Maximum" means this is the most that you can receive in weekly disability benefits - both permanent disability and temporary total disability. 

Under the DBA, your compensation rate is determined by your Average Weekly Wage

I suggest you check out this article on Average Weekly Wage. After all, we're only talking about your money. 

"Average weekly wage" (AWW) is one of the most litigated parts of DBA cases. In essence, the DBA insurance company is trying to make your AWW as low as possible, and you are trying to have as high an AWW was possible. 

You might be thinking, that if you have a "maximum" compensation rate that the amount of your AWW just doesn't matter. No. Not even close. 

Make no mistake about it - - your case is benefited, under most circumstances, if you have a higher AWW.  Here is why.... 

If you have an unscheduled disability then your permanent disability award is a wage loss concept 

There is a difference between scheduled injuries and unscheduled injures under the DBA.  An unscheduled injury is a wage loss concept. I suggest that you go check out these links and find out more. And, best yet, you request a copy of my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. 

What You Need To Know

1. You always have to tell the truth.  The DBA insurance company is hoping you will lie, fib, exaggerate, embellish, and/or distort about things. Anything. Because when you do they will try and destroy your credibility. When that happens successfully - you lose.

2. Just because you have a legitimate claim doesn’t mean the insurance company is going to provide you with weekly compensation benefits and medical treatment. They deny legitimate claims all the time. It’s usually not a matter of “if” they will deny your claim, but “when.”  

3. You need to be prepared right now for the day when your claim is going to be denied and your are going to be cut off. Waiting until after it happens will cost you a lot of money.

4. You aren’t going to beat the insurance company’s shark attorneys by yourself. They will, in all likelihood, eat you up and spit you out. You don’t have to hire my firm. But you MUST find and hire the best honest DBA lawyer that will agree to take your case.

5. Get a FREE copy of my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case. It will walk you step by step through what you need to know and do to win your DBA case. 

Win Your Defense Base Act Case - Bill Turley

Here are some of the 5 Star reviews on amazon.com:


Your DBA Case could not be in better hands. Get this Book!

"For individuals in the Military or those working as private contractors overseas – this book is a must read. Ideally you should have the book as soon as you get injured, but it is extremely helpful at any point in the Defense Base Act case process. Just like promised by the book’s title and description, this book an extremely well laid out map to you winning your DBA case."


DBA case: It's a Chess game, not checkers.

"In 2014 I could not return to work. It is 2017 now and I have just won my DBA case.

Bill Turley's book “Win Your Defense Base Act Case” was essential to my successful DBA insurance claim and settlement. I could not return to work due to two injuries; a psychological injury being Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a knee injury being Bi-Lateral Tendonitis or “Jumpers Knee”. The DBA insurance companies medical professionals also known as minions opined that I could return to work with no restrictions. My work was in a high threat environment. I insisted that I was not ready to return to work due to my concerns. I feel that the DBA insurance company made their negligent decision in favor of saving money. However, I knew that the only one who could put me on a plane back to my DBA job was me! I knew this because I read this book that Bill Turley published concerning the DBA law. This book gave me the confidence to take control of my well being."


Definitely a Must Read

"This book is a must read for anyone who has been injured while working overseas. Actually I wish that I would have known about it before I got hurt so I would have at least had a heads up on how things would likely go down if the unthinkable ever did happen. It is chock full of valuable information you can't find anywhere else and it is straight up honest advice. It really helps to know what you should look out for from your companies insurance carrier so you will be prepared in advance and don't wind up working against yourself. It also covers the things you shouldn't ever do if certain situations arise that will likely wind up costing you a lot of money in the end. It actually takes you through a step by step easy to understand journey on what you should realistically expect to happen if you ever do get injured."


What more information right now? 

If you have ordered my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case and want more information right now, I suggest that you check out this article: 

The 5 Worst Mistakes Folks Make to Tank Their DBA Case


Need help right now?


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 you can leave us a message on this web page.

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, or your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why DBA cases are not won and/or are not as successful folks might have hoped for.

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 DBA case. Every case is different.

William Turley
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“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
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