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If your spouse or close family member is working as a civilian defense contractor overseas, it can be stressful due to the many different risks of harm. If you receive the worst possible news – that your loved one suffered a fatal injury – it can devastate your family and change your situation forever. 

Not only can an unexpected loss result in emotional grief but also financial stress. Your household likely lost significant earnings, and you might be facing additional funeral and burial expenses. It is important to know your rights to possible benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA) if the fatal accident happened while your loved one was working on the job. Contact our experienced DBA attorneys for help today. 

Possible Death Benefits Under the DBA

Just because your loved one is not heading overseas as a soldier, they still can be in harm’s way, whether it is due to violence or an accident that happens as part of their work. You should be aware as they leave that DBA benefits might kick in if they suffer an injury or tragically pass away due to a work-related injury or illness. 

DBA benefits cover medical expenses and lost wages for defense contractors working on foreign soil. If your loved one was covered by the DBA, you might be eligible to receive substantial death benefits. Eligible benefit recipients can include:

  • Surviving spouse
  • Surviving children
  • People who were dependent on the deceased individual, such as grandchildren, parents, siblings, or anyone claimed as a dependent for tax purposes

If you are a surviving spouse, you can receive 50 percent of the deceased contractor’s weekly earnings (based on an average). These benefits can continue until the spouse remarries, at which point they can be eligible for a lump sum equaling two years of earnings. 

If there is one child, they can receive 50 percent of their parent’s average weekly income as death benefits until they turn 18 (or 23 if they are in school). If there are two beneficiaries, benefits can total two-thirds of the deceased’s weekly earnings. There is a cap for weekly benefits, however, which is $1,560.08 for 2020, but that changes each fiscal year. Other dependents that are not a spouse or children might receive either 25 percent or 20 percent of the weekly wages, depending on their relationship to the deceased. 

DBA benefits should also cover up to $3,000 for funeral expenses, which is critical when your family is already facing financial concerns about the future. It is important to seek help from the right legal team that can advocate for the full benefits that you deserve.

Speak with Our DBA Attorneys Who Can Help

After losing a loved one, the last thing you need is to deal with the stress of a complicated DBA death benefit insurance claim. You should not hesitate to reach out to the compassionate DBA attorneys at Mara Law Firm. Call (619) 234-2833 or contact us online for a free consultation today.  


  • 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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