There are numerous federal rules establishing the right of employees, including workers performing international jobs in support of military operations. Those working domestic jobs have clear protections at both the federal and state levels based on where they do their work.
However, some employees may have to go overseas if they work for a company that contracts with the military. While they may have the protection of workers’ compensation coverage when doing their jobs at a domestic location, those workers won’t necessarily have the same rights and benefits when working outside of the country.
The Defense Base Act (DBA) is a crucial federal law that helps extend specific protections to those working in support positions relevant to supporting international military operations. Those working for domestic companies abroad can potentially make a claim under the DBA after sustaining occupational harm, and when someone dies, their surviving family members can potentially make a claim.
The DBA provides medical benefits
Those hurt in another country could come home with thousands of dollars in existing medical debt and future care requirements. A claim brought under the DBA can potentially cover all of the current and necessary future medical expenses related to a worker’s injury or medical condition.
The DBA can replace lost wages
The cost of medical treatment is only one of several expenses that families will have to absorb when someone comes home from an international job with a significant medical issue. That worker may go months without a job or may never work in the same profession again. The DBA can potentially provide up to two-thirds of someone’s lost wages in the form of disability benefits.
The DBA offers death benefits
In a scenario where a worker dies, the DBA will cover certain costs. Families can make claims for repatriation expenses and funeral costs. Repatriation or the process of bringing back someone’s body from another country can often cost thousands. Additionally, families may qualify for similar wager placement benefits to the benefits that a disabled worker could receive after an injury.
The process of securing DBA coverage can sometimes be a bit more of a challenge than filing a basic workers’ compensation claim would be. Injured workers or their surviving family members often require guidance and help throughout the process. Evaluating a situation to see if the Defense Base Act potentially applies to someone’s circumstances can benefit families that are concerned about the consequences of a job-related medical issue.