Defense Base Act Death Benefits:
Nothing is more devastating to a family than losing a loved one. Nothing else comes close. When this happens you have to make sure that you receive all the benefits your family is entitled to under the Defense Base Act. You need to know going in that the Defense Base Act insurance company is not your friend. The DBA insurance adjuster is not your friend. Don't ever rely on the DBA insurance adjuster to give you legal advice. You need an advocate on your side. You need the best Defense Base Act attorney you can find. You also need to know that the DBA attorney that you hire is going to get paid by the DBA insurance company, not you. In other words, your DBA attorney gets paid in addition to the DBA death benefits that your family receives. This is so important.
Under the Defense Base Act Death Benefits are paid to a widow or widower or other eligible survivors if the DBA injury causes death. In addition, the DBA provides funeral expenses up to a maximum of $3,000.
In order to receive death benefits you have to be what the law calls a "statutory beneficiary." That is, a surviving spouse (widow or widower), a surviving child, or dependent grandchildren.
Dependency is determined at the time of injury.
The widow or widower receives 50% of the average weekly wage of the deceased DBA employee for life or until remarriage. Upon remarriage, a widow or widower receives a lump sum payment of compensation covering two years.
How average weekly wage is calculated is VERY IMPORTANT. This may very well be the biggest battle in your case.
Additional compensation is payable - 16 2/3% of the employee's average weekly wage - for one or more children.
If children are the sole survivors, 50% of the employee's average weekly wage is paid on behalf of the first child. Where more than one child is entitled to benefits, a maximum of 66 2/3% applies, shared equally.
Benefit payments to children, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren terminate when they reach 18, but may be extended to age 23 if the child or beneficiary is a student.
Incompetent and Incapable Children
Payments may continue indefinitely if a child remains incapable of self-support due to mental or physical disabilities.
Other Eligible Survivors
Other eligible survivors are parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren who were dependent on the employee.
National Average Weekly Wage
In computing death benefits, the average weekly wage of the deceased shall be considered to have been not less than the national average weekly wage effective at the time of the employee's death. The total amount of survivor benefits payable in death cases may not exceed the average weekly wage of the deceased or 200% of the national average weekly wage, whichever is less.
Death benefits are subject to annual adjustment (increase) based on U.S. national average weekly earnings as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Annual adjustments are applied on October 1 of each year. These are called COLA - or Cost of Living Adjustments.
What is the settlement value of my Defense Base Act death claim?
You might be asking yourself, "What is the value of my Defense Base Act death case?" In this article I discuss the value of DBA death claims and I discuss a DBA death case settlement result.
Be Ready To Battle the DBA Insurance Carrier
Obtaining the DBA Death Benefits your family is entitled to under the Defense Base Act is often times extremely difficult. You have to be prepared. Know this. The DBA insurance attorney sure knows the law, procedure and rules. Your attorney better know them too.
Get prepared and get your FREE copy of my book, Win Your Defense Base Act Case. It is the go-to guide to everything you need to know and everything you need to do to win your DBA case. You can check out these Amazon reviews of the book and see how this book has lead others to success.
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.
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 2,4, and 6....)
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Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.