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Defense Base Act Insurance Coverage

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Demystifying DBA Insurance

As a result of globalization, many companies now have considerably easier access to foreign markets. However, knowing how to safeguard personnel is essential when collaborating with the government. Insurance under the Defense Base Act is one way to meet the requirements of the 1941 law. At the outset of World War II, the United States Congress established a law guaranteeing workers’ access to health care and financial security while they performed government-sponsored humanitarian or wartime labor. It’s protection against financial loss for workers on federal contracts who are based outside the 48 contiguous states. Those unfamiliar with the federal contracting process may miss the importance of DBA insurance. The insurance coverage may seem overwhelming if you aren’t familiar with its location because it is mandatory solely for personnel involved with working overseas. When looking for coverage for the first time or when it comes time to renew, there are a number of factors to consider.

Here are some responses to frequently asked questions about this special insurance from the United States Department of Labor.

Types of employment activites involve the DBA

  • Pay to work for a private company on a U.S. military installation or any other property utilized by the U.S. military, inside or outside the country. Possessions and overseas territories.
  • Perform construction or service work for the U.S. government as part of a public work contract, including work related to national security and combat actions overseas.
    Service conducted outside of the United States under contracts sanctioned and funded by the United States under the Foreign Assistance Act, which includes provisions for the sale of military equipment, materials, and services to its allies for cash.
  • Serve in the military forces by working for American companies (such as the United Service Organizations) that provide social services overseas (USO).
  • If the employee is hurt or dies on the way to or from work and the company or the government is paying for the transportation, then the company or the government is responsible.

Employees of any nationality (including U.S. citizens and residents, nationals of the host country, local hires, and nationals of any other country) who are engaged in such employment are protected by the DBA if any of the foregoing conditions are met (individuals hired from another country to work in the host country).

What is DBA insurance and must obtain it?

For civilian personnel working on U.S. military bases or under a government contract for public works or national defense outside the United States, DBA Insurance is considered workers’ compensation insurance. Employers, subcontractors, and subcontractors all need to have it.

It covers both foreign citizens and local residents who are employed under the contract. DBA benefits are available to anyone, regardless of their country of origin. All employees, whether U.S. citizens or permanent residents, nationals of the host country (local hires) or nationals of a third country working abroad on a U.S. government contract should, therefore, have insurance coverage (hired from another country to perform work in the host country).

Disability and medical benefits, as well as death benefits for qualified survivors of employees slain in the course of or due to causes deriving from employment, are provided to covered personnel wounded in the course of or due to employment by the Defense Base Act.

While DBA insurance is in effect throughout all times of employment, it does not extend to activities like vacations, R&R time, extra travel on breaks, etc. Its purpose is to compensate workers for medical bills and lost pay incurred as a direct result of occupational hazards.

DBA coverage is mandatory for any federal government contractor, subcontractor, or government agency employee working abroad. Prior to the start of the contract, the hiring company must obtain insurance coverage and pay for all premiums. It is also the responsibility of the employer to ensure that injured workers are compensated fairly.

Contractors may be eligible for insurance waivers that are essentially the same as DBA coverage under certain conditions. On the other hand, these are only valid if the host country has robust workers’ compensation schemes and if permission to do so has been obtained. Contractors who are unclear about the advantages of an insurance waiver should seek the advice of a DBA lawyer.

Get in touch with a Defense Base Act attorney if your employer demands you to pay premiums or refuses to take action on your workers’ compensation claim.