The United States military is a massive global economic force. It is a major employer of servicemembers and a driver of demand for skills civilians as well. Anywhere that the United States has a military presence, there may be military bases and civilian support staff.
Contractors who take positions in overseas locations often receive very competitive compensation for their efforts. However, their employment comes with serious risks as well. The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a crucial federal law that protects civilian workers who get hurt while providing support to military bases abroad.
The DBA also provides important protection for the family members of those workers if a tragedy occurs.
How the DBA protects surviving family
The effects of losing a loved one internationally will be immediate and profound. If you set aside the emotional damage that such a loss will cause, there are numerous financial considerations.
The entire family may depend on the deceased family member’s income. The DBA, much like workers’ compensation insurance, allows for family members to receive up to two-thirds of the average weekly wage earned by their loved one prior to their death. Additionally, the DBA allows for compensation for funeral costs and medical expenses incurred by the civilian worker prior to their death.
One of the most immediate and pressing concerns when someone dies in another country is repatriation. Internationally transporting a person’s physical remains is a complicated task. It is difficult to organize and very expensive as well. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the location and the timing.
The DBA protects family members from either extreme financial consequences due to repatriation or an inability to bring their loved one home. The DBA helps cover the cost of repatriation so that grieving family members can bury their loved ones without incurring life-altering expenses in the process.
Claims for death benefits can be hard to manage
The average person doesn’t know much about federal laws like the Defense Base Act. It can be a real challenge to even learn the basics about the benefits available, to say nothing of the process of initiating and negotiating a claim.
Your family will already have a lot to deal with after learning about the loss of a family member. When you have the right professional support, you will be in a better position to keep your focus on your family’s needs while the lawyer manages asserting your rights under the DBA. Learning more about the Defense Base Act is important for both those working at military bases and those with loved ones pursuing such professions.