Call us 24/7 for a Free Case Evaluation! 1-877-448-8585

Defense Base Act

Defense Base Act

What is the DBA Law?

Defense Base Act information is essential knowledge for any civilian personel working on an overseas military installation. DBA offers federal workers’ compensation that cover injuries suffered while working on an international base. Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A.  focuses on providing service and representation to clients worldwide who face such situations.

If you are or a loved one is a civilian who was injured while working for a company that performs overseas operations for the U.S. Department of Defense, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under the Defense Base Act (DBA). The Defense Base Act (42 U.S. Code § 1651) gives civilian employees workers’ compensation protection when they work (1) on United States military bases outside the country or (2) under a contract with our government for public works or national defense.

An experienced DBA attorney can advise you as to whether you are entitled to compensation and medical benefits, and help you through the process of obtaining relief.  Our attorneys are available to assist you 24/7 regarding your potential DBA claim. Contact us for a free consultation.

If you are an injured worker covered by the Defense Base Act, you must notify your immediate supervisor as soon as possible in writing, no later then 30 days after the injury happens. Once you have notified your supervisor in writing, your employer usually offers you medical treatment. However, since you must also file a claim form with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs and there are strict time limits for you to dispute any actions of your employer, you should contact an attorney immediately for help with your claim.  Our attorneys are available 24/7 to help answer any questions you may have.  Contact us for a free consultation.

Defense Base Act Compensation / Benefits 

Under the DBA, you may be entitled to the following:

  • Medical treatment
  • Loss of earnings
  • Disability compensation
  • Death benefits
  • Vocational rehabilitation

Your employer is entitled to have you examined by a doctor in order to verify that you need treatment and other benefits. Treatment, prescriptions, rehabilitation and travel to the doctor will be covered by the DBA. These expenses can also cover psychological injuries.

Injuries that disable you for more than 3 days may be compensated with loss of earnings in connection with what is called an “average weekly wage.” Since this is the foundation of both temporary and permanent disability, it is crucial to get the maximum average weekly wage once you are injured, which an attorney can help you determine.

Assuming you worked in the same capacity the year before, the amount due per week can be calculated by taking your actual wages from the year before you were injured and dividing that by 52. Alternate methods may be used if you didn’t work substantially in the prior year. Once the average weekly wage is determined, the statute requires this to be multiplied by 2/3 to get the compensation rate.

You may be entitled to four classes of disability compensation:

  • Temporary total
  • Temporary partial
  • Permanent total
  • Permanent partial disability

Permanent total disability means your loss of earnings compensation continues, as adjusted for inflation from year to year. Permanent partial disability is based upon your actual wage loss and the percent of loss of use of a specified body part or disfigurement, as set by a schedule. Once that amount is set, you cannot receive an increase for a cost of living increase or inflation.

When an employee dies on the job, death benefits accrue to the employee’s dependents in varying amounts based on the number of survivors. Up to $3000 of funeral expenses are compensated as well.

We urge you to contact us by calling toll free at 877-448-8585 or contacting us online. All consultations are free and confidential.  Our DBA injury lawyers can communicate with you in English, Spanish and Creole.

DBA Injuries  / Who is covered?

Congress initially adopted the DBA in 1941 in order to cover workers stationed on military bases outside the United States, all over the world.  A number of subsequent amendments increased the DBA’s protections, such that it now covers the employees of civilian contractors who complete or further missions that were historically the responsibility of the military. 

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Employees of private entities on U.S. military bases or lands used by our government for military purposes
  • Employees under public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including contracts related to national defense or war operations
  • Employees under Foreign Assistance Act contracts approved and funded by the U.S. government
  • Employees of U.S. companies providing welfare or related services for the benefit of the military
  • Employees of subcontractors on a contract for any of the above projects
  • Employees of American contractors performing public works at a military base in a U.S. territory outside the continent in support of military assistance programs within allied nations

Some of the companies that hire civilian employees to perform operations for the U.S. Department of Defense are:

  • Blackwater
  • Halliburton
  • Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR)
  • Bechtel
  • Dyncorp
  • CACI
  • Service Employees International
  • Fluor
  • Global Linguist Solutions
  • DRS Technologies
  • Triple Canopy
  • SCI

Criteria for Injuries Covered by DBA

Workers who suffer an injury while on an international base are covered by federal workers’ compensation. Qualifying for DBA, however, is a little more complicated than simply filing a claim. Typically, the validity of a claim will be determined by the following criteria:

  • Whether the injury was caused by a willful act
  • Whether it occurred as a result of the job duties
  • How immediately treatment was sought









Diego Garcia


Helping Contractors Injured in Iraq Seek DBA Compensation

Countless civilian contract personnel have been injured in Iraq due to the perils of the job and the environment in which it takes place. You may be wondering if yours qualifies as a DBA injury, and if so, how you might file a claim. Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. helps clients in Iraq and overseas navigate DBA cases involving bases and other areas of operation.

Learn More →

Helping Civilian Workers Injured in Afghanistan Secure DBA Assistance

There are a number of circumstances that have caused civilian contract personnel to be injured in Afghanistan, but all of them can be similarly overwhelming when it comes to filing a DBA injury claim. Even though a contractor who is working on a military base overseas is entitled to certain protections granted by the Defense Base Act, advocating for yourself and ensuring these rights are honored can be a difficult task.

Learn More →

If You Were Injured in Japan You May Be Entitled to DBA Compensation

There are many longshore and harbor workers who have been injured in Japan in a variety of circumstances. A DBA injury is a serious matter, and any civilian contract personnel who have sustained such an accident should be afforded the medical care and resources they need. Too often, however, injured contractors are expected to file their claim and navigate the system on their own. This would be a difficult task to require of anybody, but it is even more stressful for a recently hurt person.

Learn More →

Helping Civilian Contract Personnel Injured in Qatar

Civilian contract personnel who are injured in Qatar are entitled to medical treatment and several other rights that are outlined in the Defense Base Act. Verifying that an incident qualifies as a DBA injury, however, requires that you file a claim and go through a review process. This is not ideal for any contractor who is on the job in Qatar, and it pushes many injured longshore and harbor workers to become frustrated with the process.

Learn More →

Helping Contractors Injured in Cuba File for DBA Coverage

Cuba tends to be perceived as a mysterious place, but it isn’t at all for the United States military. Armed forces have occupied Guantanamo Bay Naval Base since 2002, and many civilian contract personnel have been injured in Cuba since then. If you are one of these contractors, you might be wondering whether your affliction qualifies as a DBA injury. Overseas longshore harbor workers may be best served by contacting an attorney…

Learn More →

Helping Injured Workers in Guam Pursue DBA Benefits

Sustaining a DBA injury in Guam is traumatic in and of itself, but when civilian contract personnel must then go through the complex claim filing system, it can compound the stress and make anyone feel lost. Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. is committed to serving contractor clients who have been injured in Guam by fighting for their rights, ensuring they receive proper medical care and providing assistance throughout the process of DBA claims.

Learn More →

Helping Injured Civilian Contractors Serving in Kuwait Receive DBA Care

Much of the United States’ presence in Kuwait is dedicated to maintaining air forces in the area. These places house countless military aircrafts, and as such, require contractor visits on a regular basis for maintenance, repair and cleaning. When jobs such as these result in a DBA injury, the next step may not always be clear. Being injured in Kuwait will bring up many questions for any repair person or harbor workers who are on the job overseas.

Learn More →

Helping Injured Civilian Workers Receive DBA Protection in Diego Garcia

Diego Garcia is one of the few international military bases in which civilian contract personnel outnumber actual service members. The high number of contract workers means that reports of being injured in Diego Garcia are not uncommon. Accidents that occur on the Diego Garcia military base should count as a DBA injury and therefore qualify longshore and harbor workers for the benefits outlined in the Defense Base Act.

Learn More →

Assisting Injured Contractors in Haiti With Filing for DBA Protection

Suffering a DBA injury in Haiti is a stressful situation, to say the least. It is bad enough to be hurt, but it is even worse when you are in a foreign country and must attempt to navigate the bureaucracy of filing a Defense Base Act claim. The latter of these issues, however, is one that can be easily remedied by enlisting help from a legal professional. Friedman, Rodman & Frank, P.A. can provide the legal representation…

Learn More →