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State workers’ compensation laws will not entitle you to benefits if you are injured while working overseas.

However, the federal government realized the need for coverage for such workers and provided benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA) to U.S. government contractors working out of the country. The question regularly arises – does the DBA apply to you if you get injured on the job?

Covered Employees

In 1941, Congress extended the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act to include the Defense Base Act, which initially covered individuals working for national defense interests. The coverage was later expanded to government employees working in foreign countries, usually on military bases. Coverage has continued to expand further, and now includes people working overseas for private employers and government contractors.

Eligibility can be narrowed down a little more, however, as you must be engaged in certain types of foreign work to be covered. Specifically, you must engage in work that relates to United States government public works or that promotes national defense. For instance:

  • If you are working at an overseas location of a company that is not involved with the government or its interests, the company does not have to provide DBA insurance coverage
  • If you are conducting work for a U.S.-based company overseas and you are working under a government contract, you would be covered as long as you are working in that capacity
Defense Base Act lawyers

Private defense contractors are vital to supplement the efforts and missions of the United States military. Contractors have been in use since the Revolutionary War, and defense contracting increased during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Working in foreign countries in this capacity does come with the risk of accidents, injuries, and illness, however. This makes DBA coverage a necessity for those in this type of situation.

When determining whether you should be eligible for benefits, see if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • Are you a contractor or employee working on a foreign U.S. military base?
  • Are you working with a U.S. government agency on a public works contract, such as construction in a prior or current war zone?
  • Are you working for a U.S. company to provide welfare services to military members in foreign countries? One example of this would be the United Service Organization (USO), workers.
  • Are you working for humanitarian or welfare projects in countries outside the U.S., including projects sponsored by the Salvation Army or the American Red Cross?
  • Are you working on a contract on foreign soil under the Foreign Assistance Act? These projects do not have to be associated with the military, and they promote stability, security, peace, and progress in about 100 foreign countries.

Discuss a Possible Claim with Our Experienced DBA Attorneys

If you have any questions about insurance coverage for injuries under the Defense Bast Act, please do not hesitate to speak with a DBA attorney at Mara Law Firm. We can advise you of your rights and assist with a claim. Call (619) 234-2833 or contact us online for assistance.

  • I remember screaming at a dear friend of mine saying, “WHY WON’T THE INSURANCE COVER MY TREATMENT!” He said, “…because they know if they do it will increase your settlement.” I said, “WHAT SETTLEMENT! I JUST WANT TO GET TREATMENT! I DIDN’T ASK FOR A SETTLEMENT!” Somewhere I found out that for some insurance companies they are more concerned with protecting their money. This means you are thinking about treatment and getting better while they are thinking about money. Get someone that is on your side that will fight for you. They fought for me…and won.

    Mara Law Firm ClientSan Francisco

  • He represented myself and many old CO-workers. They were very professional & I’d recommend them to anyone. Great Lawyers for the forgotten working man.

    ScottSan Francisco

  • I would definitely recommend David and really appreciated all the hard work he contributed. David really went the extra mile to help his customers. We were very happy and satisfied with his services. Thank you David!

    Mara Law Firm ClientSan Francisco

  • Mr. Mara was a pleasure to work with. He kept me in the loop. Can’t say enough how good it feels to have someone fighting for you, giving you a voice.

    AlbertSan Francisco

  • I was blown away by the results my case got. It far exceeded my expectations. Not only do you get someone who is a great professional; but he will fight for what you deserve. I was uncertain in the beginning; now I’m a believer. Mr. Mara is also personable. Lisa his paralegal was tremendous throughout the whole process. She would keep me updated on the whole process. Don’t cheat yourself by using anyone else; you will be taken care of the right way if you choose Dave

    Jerome HarrisSan Francisco

  • Mr. Mara and his firm helped me file a claim for death benefits on behalf of my late husband. I was very pleased with his knowledge, research, and representation regarding my DBA claim for death benefits. I would absolutely recommend him and its associates to my friends, family, and others needing an attorney who specializes in employment, personal injury, and death benefits. Mr. Mara was very compassionate, timely, and responsive to my family’s needs. I can’t thank him enough.

    Sally A ChandSan Francisco

  • Dave Mara  did an outstanding job on my DBA case. Dave I personally want to thank you for guiding me in the right direction and having a successful case outcome. God bless you for all the effort you put into my DBA case. Words can’t describe how thankful I am. Thank you for helping injured over seas contractors.

    Jim Joned San Francisco

  • Mr. Mara and his staff were very professional and I would highly recommend Mr. Mara. Mr. Mara had my best interests in settling my case and I am very appreciative of all he and his staff did for me. If I ever needed help or had simple questions, Mr. Mara and his staff were always available to take my calls and help me. Highly recommend this firm!

    DebSan Francisco

  • Dave Mara  comes with a very high recommendation. He took a workmans compensation case for me and really handled it well. It was an unclear case, and a new issue that the WC most likely had never seen. He kept me up to date with the long confusing process and was very understanding and sympathetic to my plight( I was the victim of a violent crime). Dave has no big lawyer shenanigans and dramatic posing, he is a down to earth, fair , honest hard working lawyer who really does not seem like an an attorney at all. I recommend anyone in the SD area to consult with Dave it was a painless process.

    Linda DSan Francisco

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