Under the Defense Base Act, civilian contract employees who are injured on the job have a right to file a claim for compensation to cover medical expenses and a portion of their wages. Many functions previously performed by the U.S. military are now performed by civilian contractors, doing every thing from food service to security. These companies include but are not limited to:
- Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR)
- Service Employees International
The Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) which provides disability compensation and medical benefits to employees and death benefits to eligible survivors of employees of U.S. government contractors. If an injured worker establishes that an accident occurred or that working conditions existed which could have caused, aggravated or accelerated an injury, an injured worker may have the right to both medical benefits for all of the injuries as well as the right to compensation benefits when disabled. As with most workers’ compensation laws, the Defense Base Act requires the employer to purchase an insurance policy that should pay benefits. The Defense Base Act also covers individuals hurt while working on a short-term or temporary work assignment for a U.S. government contractor in a foreign country. If you have been injured overseas or at home while working for the U.S. Government as a civilian employee, you may be covered under the Defense Base Act. The Defense Base Act requires notice of the injury to be given in writing to the employer within thirty days, and any actual claim for benefits must be filed within one year of the date of injury. You should consult a workers’ compensation attorney who also handles Defense Base Act claims immediately to protect your rights and ensure you receive the benefits you to which you are entitled under the Defense Base Act. Insurance companies unjustifiably deny benefits or pay insignificant amounts for valid Defense Base Act claims. Employers are sometimes reluctant to report work related injuries which, in turn, delays the processing of the claims and the payments to injured workers. keep in mind too, that the acceptance of a claim does not mean the injured worker will get all the benefits s/he may claim.
If you need legal counsel, contact Denver OWCP Attorney Gregory A. Hall athttp://federalworkerscompattorney.com/
The information on this blog or website is not legal advice.