The U.S. Armed Forces has installations all over the world, including here in Louisiana. Many civilians fill essential roles that support the soldiers stationed at them. Some civilians working on these installations would receive benefits under the Defense Base Act if injured at work, but not all. Benefits for those in a certain category would come from the Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act.
The NFIA falls under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. It covers those employees that are paid through nonappropriated funds such as workers at the exchange, at other retail stores and for recreational activities designed to make life better for service members. Employees working in these capacities here in Louisiana fall under the law.
For those who work outside the continental United States, the DBA usually governs, but not for these employees. The NFIA provides the same benefits to qualifying workers. The process is not the same as applying for workers' compensation benefits for those who do not work on a military installation and can become quite complex depending on the circumstances. Some people may first need clarification regarding whether they fall under this act or the DBA before moving forward.
The last thing that an injured worker wants to do while recovering from a work-related injury is deal with the confusion, frustration and stress that often comes with pursuing benefits. Whether a worker falls under the Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act, the Defense Base Act or the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, going through the process without legal assistance could result in a denial of benefits. Instead, taking advantage of the legal resources available could increase the chances of receiving much needed help with medical bills, lost wages and more.