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If you work as an overseas contractor for the U.S. defense, you should always think about what will happen if something goes tragically wrong. Many people assume that only soldiers are in direct danger in foreign military operations, but the civilians that support the military and its bases are also at risk of serious accidents and injuries – some of which can be fatal.

You should learn about how death benefits work under the Defense Base Act (DBA), and help with understanding by your spouse, parents, or others who might need support should the unthinkable happen. Whether you want to learn more about your benefits or you are a surviving loved one of someone who passed away, contact a Defense Base Act attorney who handles death benefits right away.

Facts About Death Benefits

These benefits stem from the Defense Base Act, which is a law and benefits program overseen by the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC). In addition to providing benefits to injured workers, the DBA also provides benefits to surviving families of those involved in fatal work-related accidents. Consider the following:

  • DBA benefits include providing up to $3,000 for funeral and burial expenses. 
  • An eligible surviving spouse or child can receive 50 percent of the deceased person’s average earnings. 
  • If two eligible surviving family members need benefits, they can receive a total of two-thirds of the deceased person’s average earnings up to the maximum, which is $1,726.98 per week for fiscal year 2022
  • Death benefits to a spouse can continue for life, but if the spouse gets remarried, they will receive a lump-sum settlement for two more years of benefits. 
  • Death benefits to a child will continue until they reach age 18 or age 23 if the child is a student. These benefits can continue longer only if the child has a mental or physical disability. 
  • Dependents that are not spouses or children, such as dependent siblings or grandchildren, can receive 20 percent of the deceased’s average weekly earnings. Dependent parents or grandparents can receive 25 percent. 

If there are no eligible dependents, no benefits will be paid under the DBA, as you can only have qualified beneficiaries of these benefits. 

Seeking Proper Death Benefits

The DBA insurance company can challenge death benefit claims just like it can challenge any other type of claim. Family members must provide notice of the death to the employer within 30 days and file a claim for benefits within one year. You should seek help from a qualified attorney with the claims process from start to finish. 

Speak with a Defense Base Act Attorney about Death Benefits

After losing a loved one due to a work-related injury or illness, the last thing you need to do is deal with insurance companies or possible claim delays or denials. Instead, let our legal team from Mara Law Firm protect the rights of your family. Contact us online or call (619) 234-2833 for more information about your rights 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

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  • 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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