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When workers get hurt overseas during a job for the military

| Jan 29, 2021 | Defense Base Act |

The military is a major recipient of tax revenue and a major purchaser of both goods and services. Companies often go to great lengths to secure lucrative military contracts. Even when the United States is not actively involved in a conflict, there is a constant demand for supplies and support services at military bases around the world, in addition to support for domestic bases.

Skilled professionals like welders and construction workers, as well as people who work in food service or sanitation, could secure a job with a company that contracts with a branch of the United States armed forces. People with the ability to travel could command significant wage premiums for support work related to military facilities.

There’s a downside to working outside of the country

Providing support for military personnel and facilities can be both personally and financially rewarding. Unfortunately, there can also be more risks if you work overseas instead of domestically in the United States.

Workers here have the protection of workers’ compensation if they get hurt on the job. If you aren’t in the country, you don’t qualify for workers’ compensation. Does that mean you just have to find a way to cover the cost of your medical care?

The Defense Base Act creates similar protection to workers compensation

If workers had to assume all the risks with working abroad, it would likely be hard to fill all of the necessary positions for supporting military bases. The Defense Base Act (DBA) helps protect workers by mandating that military contractors carry DBA insurance.

Much like workers’ compensation, DBA insurance protects employers as well as the military branch that hired them from liability when a worker gets hurt. The insurance policy will cover lost wages and medical care. The disability benefits mirror domestic benefits by replacing only a portion of lost wages. Much like with workers’ compensation, timely filing of paperwork and accurate information are crucial to the success of your claim.

Trying to connect with benefits through DBA insurance can be a daunting process for someone already struggling with an injury or work-acquired illness. Support with paperwork and information about your rights can make connecting with benefits easier for a worker who needs to focus on their own recovery.