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Workers’ Compensation vs. the Defense Base Act (DBA)

Workers’ compensation is the typical system that employees can use in order to receive benefits following an on-the-job injury. Some industries have their own specific systems that are similar to workers’ compensation but involve different benefits and processes. The Defense Base Act (DBA) established one of these industry-specific systems. It provides benefits to civilians who are employed by the United States military.

Who Qualifies for Benefits?

The workers’ compensation system provides coverage to workers in a variety of different industries. There are some exemptions to who is eligible for coverage. Workers’ compensation exemptions vary between states, but some universal exemptions include volunteers and independent contractors. Most people who are not fully employed by one company do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

The Defense Base Act was specifically created to provide benefits to people who are considered civilians but are employed by the military. The United States military employs contractors and other workers who perform jobs that differ from military combat roles.

Workers who are covered by the Defense Base Act include:

  • Translators
  • Interpreters
  • Engineers
  • Security guards
  • Clerical workers

What Do Workers’ Compensation and the Defense Base Act Cover?

Workers’ compensation benefits cover most physical ailments and the costs associated with those injuries: Medical bills, lost wages, transportation costs, and other damages. Some employees are entitled to coverage for occupational diseases or toxic exposure injuries, but that coverage could be limited in certain industries. Coverage for mental health treatment is allotted in some high-stress roles.

Through a Defense Base Act claim, a person can potentially receive coverage for a variety of injuries. Injuries that may be specific to DBA claims include gunshot wounds and explosion injuries. The Defense Base Act also allows coverage for mental conditions, such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in addition to physical harm. Like workers’ compensation, the purpose of DBA benefits is to cover the cost of injury treatment (including therapy for psychological conditions), lost income, and additional damages.

The Law Offices of George P. Escobedo & Associates, PLLC represents injury victims in workers’ compensation claims and Defense Base Act claims. Contact us if you were hurt on the job — we are dedicated to helping injured workers recover the benefits they deserve.

If you were injured at work and need representation from an experienced lawyer, use our contact form or call (210) 807-3178 to schedule a free consultation with Attorney George P. Escobedo.