Many professionals try to find a job close to home, but some will follow the best pay available quite far from where they live. Those who willingly travel abroad to help work on or near military bases in international locations may earn premium wages compared with domestic workers.
However, their international job responsibilities come with significant risks. Civilian support staff can get hurt due to work accidents or armed conflict. Sometimes, they even die while living in another country. The job they took in the hope of providing a better life for their family back home in the United States makes it so they can no longer support the family.
When civilians get hurt in such a situation, the Defense Base Act (DBA) helps protect them or their surviving family members after a fatality.
How does the DBA support surviving family members of a civilian worker?
The compensation available under the DBA is in some ways similar to the benefits available through workers’ compensation. Surviving family members can count on support for funeral or burial costs as well as ongoing replacement of the wages their loved one would have earned.
The family can claim burial expenses of up to $3,000 under the DBA. The surviving dependent family members can also claim ongoing indemnity benefits based on the average weekly wage of the deceased base worker. A spouse or a sole surviving child would receive 50% of the worker’s average weekly wage. Any additional surviving children will each increase the benefit paid by 16.67%.
The children will continue receiving benefits until they turn 18. If they remain students after the age of 18, they can potentially receive benefits until the age of 23, provided that they are full-time students. Claiming those benefits requires an understanding of the law and careful adherence to procedure.
Families shouldn’t have to do focus on paperwork while grieving
Trying to handle a major compensation claim while dealing with an injury or grieving the death of a family member can be too difficult to manage. Connecting with the right support makes it easier for family members to focus on what matters most after an unexpected and tragic loss in the family.
With the right help, surviving spouses and dependent children can focus on their own emotional healing rather than on complex paperwork. Learning more about the DBA can help you ask for the help your family needs during this difficult time.