Do not hire an attorney who expects to be paid out of your settlement. Call 800.535.4542 for a no obligation consultation.

THERE ARE NO CONTINGENCY FEES ALLOWED (E.G., 25% OF BENEFITS COLLECTED) AND DBA ATTORNEYS ARE PAID BASED ON AN HOURLY RATE.THESE FEES ARE GENERALLY PAID AFTER LITIGATION OR AT SETTLEMENT AND BY THE EMPLOYER/INSURER.


Defense Base Act

The Defense Base Act, P.L.77-208, was enacted in 1941 and extended workers’compensation coverage under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to persons working on American military bases that were either acquired by the United States from foreign countries or that were located outside of the continental United States. Coverage was extended to public works contractors working outside of the United States in 1942 with the enactment of the War Hazards Compensation Act, P.L. 77-784, which also established the War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA) program. The most significant amendments to the DBA were enacted in 1958 and extended coverage to non-citizens, to persons working on projects funded under the Mutual Security Act of 1954, and to persons working to provide morale and welfare services, such as through the United Service Organization (USO).

Who is covered under the DBA

The Defense Base Act covers the following employment activities:

• Work for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the U.S. for military purposes outside of the United States, including those in U.S. Territories and possessions;

• Work on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense or with war activities outside the United States;

• Work on contracts approved and funded by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act, which among other things provides for cash sale of military equipment, materials, and services to its allies, if the contract is performed outside of the United States;

• Work for American employers providing welfare or similar services outside the United States for the benefit of the Armed Services, e.g. the United Service Organizations (USO).

• Employees of any subcontractors of a contract involved in work detailed above, it is applicable to both US and local national employees.

• Generally, workers employed by American contractors performing public works for the U.S. government in U.S. territories, at U.S. military bases located outside the continental United States and in support of military aid programs within allied nations. Also, persons who are employed overseas by welfare and morale projects such as the American Red Cross, the U.S.O. and The Salvation Army are generally covered. “Public Works” is defined in 42 U.S.C. § 1651

• There are severe penalties for firms and contractors that are required to hold DBA Insurance but fail to do so.

Technical requirements and filings

The initial technical requirement of the Act is to report the injury immediately to one’s immediate supervisor. Notice of the injury should also be given in writing using form LS 201. Once that is done, medical treatment is generally offered. It is the employee’s responsibility to file a claim form LS 203 with the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). This is required within one year of the date of injury or the last payment of compensation, whichever is later. Forms utilized in DBA claims may be accessed at the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Forms Page.

The complications and challenges of submitting a claim can be time consuming. The Department of Labor is the agency who supervises the Defense Base Act.Claims submitted through the Defense Base Act of 1941 may take several years or more. Persons should use extreme care with the knowledge of challenges in attempting to seek remedies from working for Department of Defense or Department of State contractors.


We understand.

We understand the issues you, as a claimant, are facing. The process for filing a Defense Base Act claim can be tiring and confusing. There is a strong chance that your wages have been affected and you are unsure where to turn for help and legal assistance.

That's where we come in.

Our team of legal experts are dedicated to ensuring you receive the benefits and compensation as well as the respect you deserve.

Call us today.

CALL TOLL FREE 800.535.4542 FOR A NO OBLIGATION CONSULTATION.