Workers Compensation:

Defense Base Act

The U.S. government constantly hires civilians to build or reconstruct government buildings across the globe. Unfortunately, many of these employment opportunities require travel to dangerous areas. For instance, hundreds of American workers will be sent to Iraq, a country with a strong anti-American attitude, to help in the country’s restructuring process. While work in these countries may pay better than jobs on American soil, the workers’ lives are often put at risk.

The dangerous condition of jobs in other countries increases the risk for work-related injuries. That’s why nearly every job with the U.S. government that mandates overseas work requires Defense Base Act coverage. Under the Defense Base Act, the following workers should be covered if they are injured or killed while working overseas:

  • Employees on a military base outside of the country
  • Workers engaged in U.S. government funded public workers business out of the country
  • Workers engaged in contracts with an overseas government that has been deemed vital to our national security
  • Employees providing U.S. government funded services outside the realm of regular military issues

Failure to retain Defense Base Act insurance can result in serious penalties. All U.S. government contracts must contain a provision requiring bidding contractors to purchase necessary insurance coverage. Failing to follow this contract provision can result in heavy fines and possible loss of contract. Perhaps the harshest penalty for failing to provide Defense Base Act coverage is that employees can file a lawsuit against the employer without having to prove negligence.

If you were injured while working overseas, or lost a loved one who was engaged in a U.S. contract abroad, you have rights to Defense Base Act coverage. If you have not received benefits, fill out our free case review form on the right to speak with a Defense Base Act attorney today.