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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.