Understanding Your Defense Base Act Rights

By on October 6, 2013

Jones act workers compensation

The Longshore Compensation Act, annually, deals with 27,000 cases of maritime workers and related employees incurring disabilities or fatalities from work related issues. With staggering numbers like that, you should understand how and when to identify DBA attorneys that can help you with issues.

The U.S. longshore and harbor workers compensation act is in place to provide compensation to civilian employees that are employed at various U.S. military bases or facilities and who might not otherwise receive the coverage that they need. Since there are so many different types of maritime claims, it helps to understand your rights and responsibilities as part of your employment situation.

Basic coverage and understanding your rights allows you to better prepare for loss or disability as a longshoreman or harbor worker. For example, reasonable funeral expenses are covered up to 3,000 dollars in the event of death. In such circumstances, survivors benefits would be available based on the workers AWW. Knowing these numbers can also be key to deciding whether or not to seek supplemental coverage. Your family and individual situation will dictate what makes the most sense and advice from your DBA attorney.

Having the Defense Base Act in place is one way that civilian workers can find eligible employment at military facilities, thus filling vacancies that otherwise would remain empty or fall to other nationals, that remain ineligible for expatriate compensation. Since, they also have to work under expatriate conditions potentially, having some coverage recognized by the U.S. code helps to insure that employees make sound decisions without having to automatically resort to defense base act attorneys.

Originally the Defense Base Act was enacted in 1941, coinciding with an increased number of civilian employees at overseas bases. It also provides some level of health care and medical coverage that would otherwise vary depending on the location. Those seeking compensation or coverage under the Defense Base Act should use their employers chain of command to properly document any issues and level of care. Unfortunately these claims have been known to require years to resolve all of the outstanding issues. You will have to make sure that you are speaking with a professional about any maritime claims that fall under the DBA or related codes.

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