Defense Base Act Attorneys in Manassas
Helping Injured Workers Obtain the Compensation They Need
An extension of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act, the Defense Base Act offers benefits to individuals who are injured while working under a U.S. government contract overseas.
At Ashcraft & Gerel, we are deeply familiar with this Act and have extensive experience representing individuals seeking benefits for workplace injuries. We encourage you to discuss your situation with our Manassas Defense Base Act attorneys and see whether you might be entitled to compensation.
Choose the firm with over 65 years or experience; call Ashcraft & Gerel at (703) 457-9997.
Benefits under the Defense Base Act
In order to qualify for benefits under the Defense Base Act, you must have suffered an injury in the course of your work and meet the other requisite criteria.
Regardless of nationality, you may be eligible if you work:
- For a private employer on U.S. military base or land used for military purposes overseas
- Overseas for a U.S. government agency that performs work related to national defense or war activities
- Abroad under a contract that has been approved and funded by the U.S. government
- For any company or organization that offers welfare services to the military abroad, such as USO
The Defense Base Act provides benefits for injured workers in a manner similar to the standard workers’ compensation system. Benefits apply whether the injury happened while you were on the clock or not.
Under the Defense Base Act, you may be eligible for benefits including:
- Permanent and temporary disability
- Medical expenses
What to Know about the Defense Base Act
The Defense Base Act is a fairly complex piece of legislation that is governed by strict eligibility requirements. Having a better understanding of these requirements can help you understand your rights and the benefits to which you may be entitled.
You should know that all companies and organizations that employ workers in the aforementioned capacity are legally obligated to provide workers’ compensation coverage to employees. If your employer fails to pay the amount you are owed, you have the right to sue for tort damages.
Should you sue your employer for failing to provide coverage, they cannot:
- Claim that you assumed the risk of injury when you accepted the job
- Claim that another worker’s negligence the cause of your injury
- Plead contributory negligence
It’s also important to keep in mind that you must notify your employer in writing of any injuries you suffer on the job within 30 days. You have one year to file an official claim. Do not stray from this timeframe – otherwise, your benefits could be denied.
The History of the Defense Base Act
The Defense Base Act was enacted in 1941 and has been amended twice since. In 1953, the Defense Base Act was expanded to cover all types of contracted work so long as it could be classified as “national defense” work. In 1958, the Act was expanded again, this time to cover morale organizations and non-U.S. citizens working under contracts with the U.S. government.
According to a report to Congress in 2010, Defense Base Act claims increased six times in frequency just between 2004 and 2007. The Act’s newfound prevalence can be attributed to the U.S.’s military action in the Middle East, which has resulted in thousands of people being hired to work on U.S. military project.
Some of the main contractors for the Department of Defense and Department of State include:
- Academi (formerly Blackwater)
- BAE Systems
- Chenega Global
- Garda Worldwide
- L3 Communications
- Mission Essential Personnel
- Professional Solutions
If you need compensation for an injury you suffered while working abroad for the U.S. government, call Ashcraft & Gerel at (703) 457-9997 today.
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