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Defense Base Act (DBA) covers civilian employees who are military contractors overseas. It was enacted in 1941 as an extension to the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act. It was created to provide medical benefits and disability compensation to civilian employees who are employed on military bases outside the United States of America.
The DBA covers civilian workers in defense contractors. The act does not only cover civilians alone, it also covers the working overseas providing services such as the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and welfare projects.
It can also apply to those who provide defense services outside the US. Some of the most hazardous jobs covered include bomb disposal, private military contractor, utility workers, truck driver, carpenter, translator, construction worker, electrician, truck driver, engineer and medic. The DBA will also cover those workers injured or killed while working as a contractor on a military base.
The workers employed in war zones are subjected to the same type of illnesses or injuries as military personnel. The injuries or illnesses include traumatic brain injury, paralysis, amputation, superficial war wounds and wrongful death. Other psychological injuries that may affect the worker after experiencing any life-threatening dangers such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorders are also covered by DBA.
According to Overseas-Contractors.com, a leading DBA law resource, Defense Base Act provides death benefits to family members of a worker killed while doing their job. This act will apply if the worker dies or get injured during their working hours. Compensation may include compensation for total disability, rehabilitation cost, long term medical costs, compensation for medical treatment, death benefits paid to family members and compensation for the loss of income as a result of the injury. Disability benefits and death benefits can be awarded for life.
If you are a Defense Base Act worker and you are injured very seriously to such an extent that you cannot return to your place of duty, you may be entitled to lifetime weekly compensation. The DBA uses a wage loss concept for Unschedule Injuries.
This means that the weekly disability is determined by the difference between your DBA earnings and what you are able to earn now around where you live considering factors such as education, training, age and disability among other factors.
The Defense Base Act requires that all contractors who work with the military to have a worker’s compensation insurance. This type of insurance is compulsory for those organizations which employ US citizens or residents and all the subcontractors or employees hired on overseas under contract to the United States Government.
It is important to have a DBA attorney represent you if you are injured in a maritime environment. DBA attorneys represent injured workers to ensure they get compensation. A DBA attorney will help you navigate the legal processes.
If a worker is injured, it has to be reported immediately to a supervisor. The notice of injury should be given in writing using form LS 201. After this is done, medical treatment is offered. The employee can file a claim using form LS 203 with the Office of Workers Compensation Programs. This is required within one year of the date of injury or last payment of compensation. To learn more about the defense base act, read this blog
As strange as it sounds in these days of cable news channels following law makers and a society where nearly anybody with the means can file even the most frivolous lawsuit and strange quirks in the law that allow ordinary people to get themselves licensed as dragons or unicorn, there was a time without laws. Back in the primordial days of humanity, survival was the only law. However, true to human nature, early humans realized that by working together and following certain rules, cooperation was easier in an untamed world where cooperation often meant the difference between life and death. From these early agreed upon rules to modern labyrinthine legal systems, there were a lot of developments that took place across the world.
Western legal systems, the basis of most legal systems as a result of widespread colonialism and imperialism that only recently ended, arguably began not in Europe or the Americas, but in the Middle East. The Code of Hammurabi, a black stone pillar covered in cuneiform script, is the oldest surviving written codex of laws that has survived to the modern age. The idea that the rules of a community should be written down and seen as being application to all was a revolutionary one. The idea spread quickly, and parallel ideas spread up across the world; from China to Mexico, the idea that laws should be more than the whims of the rulers proved to be an important one. Court systems and judges emerged soon afterwards, and while the world’s governments still mostly focused on the whims of the rulers, be they ordinary warlords or semi-divine god kings, the idea of laws proved popular and useful to humans as an alternative to barbarism. When it comes to western legal systems, the basis of that form of law begins largely in classic Greece, with the development of Hellenistic thoughts of philosophy, ethics and government. These revolutionary ideas eventually traveled across the Mediterranean to the city state of Rome. The Roman Republic, though it eventually declined into imperial tyranny for centuries before collapsing, proved that the Greek ideals of what justice and law should be could actually work. While the Roman Republic was still ruled largely by an elite class, ideas traveled and changed slowly in those days and needed time to truly expand. When Rome fell, so did Western civilization. Still, progress in the development of justice and law did happen. The major event in this field was England’s Magna Carta. This document overturned the divine right of kings that had existed in Europe for some centuries, albeit through force and only on behalf of land owning nobles, but for its time it was revolutionary. With the Renaissance bringing Europe out of the Middle Ages, another English innovation in law and justice was the Star Chamber, a court of law in Westminster established to do what it could to enforce laws against socially and politically prominent people who would be unlikely to face justice in other courts. The idea that all people were ultimately equal under the law was a powerful one that spread quickly across the western world, eventually becoming the basis for many constitutions across the world.