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The Basics of The Department of Labor: What You Need To Know For Your Defense Base Act Claim

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What do I need to know about the U.S. Department of Labor if I have a Defense Base Act claim? 

If you have a Defense Base Act claim, you should know the lay of the land, so to speak. 

The Defense Base Act (DBA) actually is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. (Longshore Act). This is why most of the really good Defense Base Act lawyers began their career representing Longshoreman and shipyard workers like I did in San Diego, California.
The Longshore Act and the Defense Base Act are administered by the U.S. Department of Labor, Longshore Division.
Before the Iraq and Afghanistan wars the number of Longshore cases far, far outnumbered the DBA cases. Although, now days, it seems like the DBA cases may outnumber the Longshore cases. Each year there are hundreds of overseas civilian contractors that are seriously injured and come home, only to now trade a war zone, with a fight against the DBA insurance company.
U.S. Department of Labor - Defense Base Act claims

"An insider’s view of Defense Base Act Law and the U.S. Department of Labor, with no sugar coating. No lawyer talk, no double talk. Ever."
Defense Base Act Lawyer - Bill Turley
What you are going to see is that the DBA insurance companyies make a lot of money either denying claims or nickel and diming severely injured DBA claimants, just like you. It's not a game to them. It's all about the money. 

But I’ve got a legitimate claim and I’m getting my DBA benefits - I don’t need a lawyer....

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this. Only to get a frantic call later on, when someone’s DBA benefits have been cut.  It’s usually not a matter of if, but when your DBA benefits are going to be stopped. Especially if you’re seen as low hanging fruit because you don’t have a good DBA lawyer. 

If this is you.... I strongly suggest you do two things. First, you IMMEDIATELY get my 5 Star book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case. You can buy it here on amazon.com or you can get a free copy here

Second, I suggest you check out this article on the Top 10 DBA Questions (see Questions 2, 3, 4, and 6....). 

Don’t wait until tomorrow. Seriously. 

The Department of Labor and DBA insurance companies

Here is some more insider information. The DBA insurance companies seem to exert their will on the Department of Labor. There is a lot of money at stake. Make no mistake about it, the DBA insurance companies know very well where their bread is buttered - - so to speak. Not to suggest that this is illegal in any way. Because it's not. It's just the way that the federal government works. It's no different with the Department of Labor. 
These insurance companies take significant efforts to let the Department of Labor know which way the wind is blowing. Whether you're conservative or liberal or somewhere in between. The reality is that the Department of Labor is more and more "business friendly" under the current administration. Make no mistake about it. 

Administrative Law Judges and your credibility 

A DBA case is a court case. The Judge in your case will be an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Not all Judges are alike. Some Judges tend to issue more Awards for claimants (people bringing a DBA claim) and some Judges tend to Deny more claims (find more for the DBA insurance companies). It's the same with Judges everywhere. These Judges are no different. Who is your Judge will usually affect the relative strength or weakness of your chances to prevail in your case. It is something that you need to understand and consider. 
What you are going to see with all Judges, is that you will have very little chance of winning your DBA case if the Judge doesn't like you and believe you. Your credibility is everything with a DBA case. This is why you must tell the truth about everything. 

Always tell the truth

This is what I repeat like a mantra - always tell the truth when you are bringing a DBA claim. 

“I’m telling the truth, so I’ll be good” and other famous last words

Don’t think for one minute that “I’m telling the truth, so I’ll be good.”  The DBA insurance companies deny claims everyday of folks that are honest, with legitimate claims.

Whether you are telling the truth or not (and you certainly should be telling the truth); the truth is, “the truth” doesn’t matter to them. They are always trying to find “inconsistencies’ to use to attack your credibility and character.

Don't do anything until you read my book!!!

What do I need to know about the Department of Labor if I have a Defense Base Act case? Bill Turley

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.
5 Stars on Amazon.com
Make sure you check out the dozens of 5 Star reviews on amazon.com

The Basics of the Department of Labor

Our job is to make the process of building your Defense Base Act case and filing your DBA claim as smooth and clear as possible. So we want to give you the basics of the Department of Labor, which is who you will be filing your DBA claims with. Knowing the basics; like who is in charge, where your local district office is, and contact info is going to be extremely helpful to you especially when you're just getting started with a DBA claim. 

The following info is correct as of February 9, 2019. For more current info please check the Department of Labor official site.  All of the "Insider Information" I gave you earlier in this article, is still spot on, though. 

The Big Guys - Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC) (remember the DBA is an extension of the Longshore Act)

The National Office

Director: Douglas C. Fitzgerald

Branch Chief of Financial Management, Insurance and Assessment: Tirzah Leiman-Carbia

Branch Chief of Policy, Regulations and Procedures: Kristina Hall


Contacting the National Office


U.S. Department of Labor OWCP/DLHWC

Frances Perkins Building, Room C-4319

200 Constitution Ave NW

Washington DC 20210

Phone: (202) 354-9630

Fax: (202) 693-1380

Email: [email protected]

*If you are emailing the national office you WILL NOT get a specific answer about your specific Defense Base Act claim. This email provides general information about the administration of the Longshore Act and all of it's extensions, which includes the DBA. If you have specific questions about your claim you will have to contact your District Office.


District Offices

This is where you will be filing your DBA claims. The district offices are split up into 7 regions that are responsible for a different certain area of the world. Remember, even if you are not living in the U.S. or from the U.S. you can still file a DBA claim. Now these are not labeled as numbers 1-7, so don't get confused. 

IMPORTANT: You have one year after your injury to file your DBA claim with the Department of Labor. These deadlines do matter. So try your best to stick to them. If you are past the one year point - you may still have a valid claim. See this article on the Defense Base Act statute of limitations (when you need to file you DBA claim).


Region I:

Assigned States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

DBA Jurisdiction: East of the 75th degree West Longitude, Newfoundland, and Greenland.

District Director: David B. Groeneveld

Regional Director: Zev Sapir


Longshore District Office #1, Boston

U.S. Department of Labor


JFK Federal Building, Room E-260

Boston, MA

Phone: (617) 624-6750

Fax: (617) 624-6603


Region II

Assigned States: New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands

DBA Jurisdiction: Mexico, Central and South America (including coastal islands); areas East of the continents of North and South America up to the 60th degree East Longitude, (including Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran) and any other locations not covered by any other district office. 

District Director: David Abeijon

Regional Director: Zev Sapir


Longshore District Office #2 New York

U.S. Department of Labor


201 Varick St. Room 740

Post Office Box 249

New York, NY 10014-0249

Phone: (646) 264-3010

Fax: (646) 264-3002


Region III (Norfolk Longshore District Office):

Assigned States: Virginia, West Virginia Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania

District Director: Theresa Magyar

Regional Director: Kellianne Conaway


Longshore District Office 5, Norfolk

U.S. Department of LAbor


Federal Building, Room 212

200 Granby Mall

Norfolk, VA 23510

Phone: (757) 441-3071

Fax: (757)441-6909


Region IV:

Assigned States: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee

District Director: Kristina Hall

Regional Director: Magdalena Fernandez

Central Mail Receipt Site (Address):

Longshore District Office 6, Jacksonville

U.S. Department of Labor


Charles E. Bennett Federal Building

400 West Bay Street, Room 63A, Box 28

Jacksonville, FL 32202

Phone: (904) 357-4788

Fax: (904) 357-4787


Region VI (Offices in Dallas and New Orleans)

Dallas Office Assigned States: Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas

New Orleans Office Assigned States: Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi

DBA Jurisdiction: Canada, West of the 75th degree and East of the 110th degree West Longitude

Dallas District Director: David Widener

Dallas/ New Orleans Regional Director: Dean W. Woodward

New Orleans District Director: David A. Duhon


Dallas Address:

Longshore District Office 8, Houston

U.S. Department of Labor


Mickey Leland Federal Building

1919 Smith Street, Suite 870

Houston, TX 77002

Phone: (713) 65-4650

Fax: (713) 65-4651


New Orleans Address: 

Longshore District 7, New Orleans

U.S. Department of Labor


600 S. Maestri Pl.

Suit 617

New Orleans, LA 70130

Phone: (504) 589-2671

Fax: (504) 589-3969


Region IX (Offices in San Francisco, Honolulu and Long Beach)

San Francisco Office States Assigned: California (North of the Northern boundaries of the counties of San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernardino), Arizona and Nevada

Honolulu Office States Assigned: Hawaii

Honolulu Office DBA Jurisdiction: All areas West of the continents of North and South America (excluding coastal islands) to the 60 degree longitude (excluding Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan)

Long Beach Office States Assigned: California (South of the Northern boundaries of the counties of San Luis Obispo, Kern and San Bernardino)

San Francisco/ Honolulu District Director: R. Todd Bruininks

San Francisco/ Honolulu/ Long Beach Regional Director: Christy Long

Long Beach District Director: Marco Adame


San Francisco Address: 

Longshore District Office 13, San Francisco

U.S. Department of Labor


90 7th St. Suite 15100

San Francisco, CA 94103-6716

Phone: (808) 541-1983

Fax: (808) 541-1758


Honolulu Address:

Longshore District Office 15, Honolulu

U.S. Department of Labor


300 Ala Moana Blvd. Room 5-135

Honolulu, HI 96850

Phone: (808) 541-1983

Fax: (808) 541-1758


Long Beach Address: 

Longshore District Office 18, Long Beach

U.S. Department of Labor


501 W. Ocean Blvd. Suite 6230

Long Beach, CA 90802

Phone: (562) 980-3577

Fax: (562) 980-3587


Region X

States Assigned: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, 

DBA Jurisdiction: Canada, West of the 110th degree West Longitude and all areas in the Pacific Ocean North of the 45th degree North Latitude

District Director: R. Todd Bruininks

Regional Director: Christy Long


Longshore District Office 14, Seattle

U.S. Department of Labor


300 5th Ave, Suite 1050L

Seattle, WA 98104

Phone: (206) 504-5287

Fax: (206) 467-1074


It is important to be prepared for all aspects of your DBA case including dealing with the Department of Labor. I would recommend you order my book, "Win Your Defense Base Act Case", here for FREE. It is the easiest guide book on all things related to the DBA legal system and will give you the info you need to succeed in court. 

There is also the Turley Law Firm website, which is a great resource for all things DBA. Here you will find out everything from how to deal with insurance company adjusters to what evidence you are going to need to win your case.


If you have any questions about the Department of Labor contact us first. You'll find more straight forward answers and exact instructions for your Defense Base Act claim.

Call us today at 619-304-1000


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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