Defense Base Act Workers' Compensation Guide for Workers in California
The Defense Base Act
Have you been injured or become ill while working overseas for a public or private employer connected with U.S. military operations? You may be entitled to compensation for medical care, disability benefits, and other types of coverage under the Defense Base Act.
The experienced California workers’ compensation lawyers at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office are honored to provide quality legal representation to citizens that worked in support of U.S. troops overseas. Please don’t hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions about your case related to the Defense Base Act. We will be happy to give you a comprehensive understanding of your legal rights and options, free of charge. Just call us at (818) 901-9999.
Who Is Covered under the Defense Base Act?
Whether you have been injured while working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Cuba, or Southeast Asia – to name just a few countries – you are entitled to coverage under the Defense Base Act if your employment activities involved any of the following:
- Working for a private employer on a U.S. military base or on any land used for military purposes out of the United States;
- Working on a public works contract with a U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense;
- Working on contracts approved and funded under the Foreign Assistance Act; or
- Working for American employers providing welfare or similar services overseas for the benefit of the Armed Forces.
Regardless of your nationality, you qualify for benefits as long as you meet any of the above criteria.
What Benefits Are Provided under the Defense Base Act?
Employees covered under the Defense Base Act are entitled to disability, medical, and death benefits. Medical benefits cover treatment from a physician (doctor, surgeon, psychologist, optometrist, podiatrist, and dentist) of the employee’s choice. Those who qualify for temporary total disability benefits (disability that lasts longer than 14 days) are paid two-thirds of their average weekly earnings, subject to a maximum amount, while they are unable to return to work and are under medical care. Permanent total disability and death benefits, which are subject to yearly cost of living adjustments, may be payable for life to those who are unable to return to any gainful employment. If you are waiting an unreasonable amount of time to receive your proper benefits, or you have received a notice contesting your claim, it is highly advised that you contact a trusted attorney right away. You have a limited time to dispute the actions of your employer.
Procedures for Reporting an Injury and Filing a Claim
Employers must notify their insurance carrier upon learning of an employee injury incident. They must also authorize medical treatment immediately, if necessary. An Employer’s First Report of Injury, Form LS-202, must be filed with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) within 10 days of the incident, if the injury causes the affected employee to miss one or more work shifts. If there is a dispute over the claim, the employer and employee may resolve their disputes in an informal conference or request the referral of the claim to the Office of Administrative Law Judges for a formal hearing.
Contact Our Workers Comp Law Office Today
If you are being denied your rightful benefits under the Defense Base Act, please contact the dedicated California workers’ comp attorneys at the Kenton Koszdin Law Office for immediate legal assistance. We will promptly and patiently address any of your questions and concerns regarding your case.