The Defense Base Act is part of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and it provides medical benefits, disability compensation and death benefits. The DBA covers people such as:
- People working on U.S. military bases
- People working for American employers who are providing welfare or related services outside the U.S. to the military
- Workers who are working on public contracts for the government
…as well as some others. Once the DBA employment criteria is met, then a person should be covered by the act if they are injured or pass away as a result of their work or an accident that occurs while working.
How long does it take to get coverage under the DBA?
How long it takes to get coverage depends on a few factors, such as how quickly you report your injury and how long you’ve been off work. For example, if you are disabled and cannot work for more than three days, then you should receive compensation within 14 days of the time when you notified your employer of your losses. That means that it may take up to 28 days to get that first payment.
Once you receive your first payment for a disability, then you should receive them in bi-weekly installments unless the insurer or your employer is disputing liability.
Remember to report your injury as soon as possible. An employer’s First Report of Injury form must be turned in within 10 days of your injury if you miss one or more days of work, so let your employer know as soon as you can. You may be entitled to up to $1,030.78 weekly if you have been disabled, as of 2021. Death benefits are half of your average weekly earnings.
What should you do if you don’t receive the first disability check in a timely manner?
If you don’t get your disability check within a reasonable amount of time, then you should reach out to the district suboffice that is handling your case. You can also talk to your attorney about your concerns, because there may be additional compensation available to you because of the delay in payment.