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The Turley Law Firm P.C.

Cancer Patients May Be Entitled to Coverage Under the Defense Base Act

The Real Value of Hiring the Right DBA Lawyer

When you hire a Defense Base Act lawyer, you’re not hiring someone to guarantee that you’ll win your case. There are no guarantees in life or law (especially in the law, I might add). You’re not hiring them to build a case strategy plan and tell you what to do to get there. Although, that is part of it. 

What you’re really hiring them to do is be a coach when things get difficult. When things go bad, or bad situations arise, or when it hits the fan. A good, honest DBA lawyer will help keep you from making a bad decision.  Make no mistake about it - oftentimes no decision, is a decision.  Which can be disastrous. 

First of all, a good DBA lawyer knows the law and the procedure (the rules). This case is probably your first rodeo, so to speak. Even if it’s your second rodeo, you don’t want someone that is getting on the job training. You’re hiring someone that can see the field, so to speak. (Sorry, to mix metaphors here). 

Second, a good DBA lawyer doesn’t have the same emotional attachment to your case that you have. Folks almost always evaluate their cases based upon emotion, rather than logic and clear thinking. 

Combining experience with non-emotional decision-making is the real value in hiring the right DBA lawyer.

If you want to know more about hiring a DBA Lawyer check out this article on the Top 10 DBA Questions (see Questions 2,3, 4, and 6....) 

Overseas Contractors and Cancer

A cancer diagnosis is not only shocking and terrifying, it is also the beginning of a long and costly treatment process. Many people turn to their insurance providers and employers for help with their medical bills, which may not be enough to cover all of the necessary treatments. For contractors who worked overseas or for U.S. military employers, there could be substantial benefits available under the Defense Base Act (DBA) to pay for your chemotherapy and surgery.

When Does the Defense Base Act Provide Cancer Treatment Benefits?

Civilian employees who worked for military operations overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, or any other territories occupied or used by the United States military are eligible for DBA benefits. Overseas contractors may also qualify for benefits if their cancer diagnosis is linked to their employment on a public works project or during employment funded by a contract approved or financed by the United States government.

The Defense Base Act could provide payment for your:

Injuries and occupational diseases.

The DBA provides compensation for any injuries or occupational diseases that arise as a result of environmental exposure and are related to employment. Prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals, sunlight, burn pits, and other hazards could have contributed to cancer development, and you should consult with your doctor about possible causes of your disease. 

Medical benefits.

Under the DBA, your employer is responsible for the reasonable and necessary costs of your illness, including hospitalization, surgery, prescriptions, travel, and follow-up care. These benefits can be provided for months, years, or as long as the patient requires treatment.

Physician visits.

The DBA allows you to choose whichever physician you want to treat your condition; however, you must choose carefully. If you wish to change doctors, you will have to receive approval from your employer and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Your treating physician will be in charge of your medical care, but he or she will also be in charge of determining your work status and eligibility for benefits, so it is vital that you choose a doctor who understands the demands of your job and will work with you toward a positive resolution.

Unfortunately, it can be difficult to prove that cancer developed as a result of your regular employment. For help on gathering evidence and other ways to build your strongest case, look through our free book, Win Your Defense Base Act 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.”