The United States military has a presence all over the world. Different branches of the military have bases on every continent except for Antarctica and a presence in dozens of countries.
Those who work directly for the military may have to travel extensively as part of their career, but they have the protection that comes from being active-duty servicemembers. There are also huge numbers of employees who work at international military bases to provide maintenance and other necessary services for the people living there.
Even if those people work for a domestic company, workers’ compensation laws from in the United States will do little to protect them if they get hurt on an international military base. After all, workers’ compensation benefits are location-dependent. Someone hurt in another country cannot make a claim against a domestic insurance policy in most cases.
Thankfully, the Defense Base Act helps protect those working on International military bases.
Who does the Defense Base Act protect?
Workers who take potentially dangerous or demanding jobs in overseas locations shouldn’t have to worry about suffering lifelong financial hardship because of their employment. If they get hurt while working for a private company contracted by a branch of the military, workers can make claims under the Defense Base Act (DBA).
The DBA protects workers ranging from engineers to custodians who take international positions at defense bases or who work in international locations to provide support for military bases and the people who staff them. Any private employee working in a support position related to military efforts may have coverage. DBA insurance policies obtained by the companies that contract with the military also help by protecting those companies from direct liability for worker injuries and illnesses.
Getting benefits can be more difficult when you have to make a complex claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is hard enough that many people hurt in a domestic environment still struggle to complete the process successfully. When you add the additional layer of international jurisdiction and federal liability laws, the process can quickly become much more complex.
Those who need benefits potentially covered by the DBA may require guidance when applying for benefits and help while negotiating a settlement. Knowing your rights under the Defense Base Act can help you get the benefits you deserve if you get hurt while performing a civilian support job overseas on a military base.