How to File a DBA Claim

A Step-By-Step Guide to DBA Claims Process

Filing a San Diego DBA Claim in California

Not sure how to file a DBA claim in San Diego, CA? If you were wounded, disabled, or became ill while working on a military base or at certain overseas sites of a US government contractor, you may be eligible for Defense Base Act (DBA) compensation. Speak with a San Diego DBA attorney to find out how to file your DBA claim in California. Our San Diego personal injury attorneys at Benner Law Firm have experience in helping California families and residents seek compensation for Defense Base Act claims, mass torts, and personal injury claims.

Injured on the Road?

Call our car accidents lawyer in San Diego, CA to get compensated for your injuries.

How do I file a Defense Base Act claim in San Diego, CA?

If you wish to file a worker’s compensation claim for an injury you sustained while working overseas for a US government contractor, here are the steps you need to take.

1) Get medical attention immediately.

If you got injured on the job, the first thing you need to do is seek medical help immediately. While this may seem obvious, a lot of people don’t seek medical help right away if it doesn’t look like an emergency.

In addition, getting the medical help you need as soon as possible will also help when you file for benefits. The sooner you wait before getting help, the more difficult it is to file a DBA claim and get your benefits.

While you’re at the doctor or the hospital, make sure you document every visit, describe the extent of your injuries, and note what your doctor says, does, or prescribes you. Remember that medical documentation of your work injury will help your and your San Diego DBA attorney back up your DBA claim in court.

2) Notify your supervisor about the injury ASAP.

The next step is to report your injury to your supervisor as quickly as possible. This allows your supervisor and employer to have a record of your work injuries.

After you report the accident, your supervisor will submit an incident report that details what happened and describes your injury. Make sure the information in this report is accurate and that the forms submitted to your employer are complete. The Notice of Employee’s Injury or Death, Form LS-201, is one of the forms that officially lets your employer know about the incident that resulted in your injury.

As always, keep a copy of the incident report and other forms submitted that are related to your Defense Base Act injuries.

3) File for a DBA claim for your injury.

If you are still unable to perform your job duties within three days of your injury, you may file a workers’ compensation claim. Once the DBA claims process is set in motion, your employer must file an Employer’s First Report of Injury, Form LS-202, within ten days of your injury if you have missed one or more shifts.

It’s also important to note that when it comes to DBA claims, the injured party is given a 1-year time limit to file their claim. The clock starts running on the day you got your injury. However, if your employer or insurance company fails to file the correct forms, the time limit does not begin to run.

Will I get compensated for lost wages?

Typically, lost wages are paid at approximately two-thirds of the worker’s normal weekly wage, up to the weekly limit, until the worker returns to work or reaches maximum medical improvement.

Medical expenses are covered by the employer’s insurer, but employers with insurance coverage are not obligated to pay damages for pain and suffering, as is the case with other types of workers’ compensation claims. Benner Law Firm always gives a free initial consultation, but time constraints exist, so it’s critical to move promptly if you or a loved one has been injured while working overseas as a contractor or subcontractor for the United States government.

defense base act attorneys San Diego
Injured on the Road?

Call our car accidents lawyer in San Diego, CA to get compensated for your injuries.

What is the Defense Base Act?

he Defense Base Act is an expansion of the federal workers’ compensation program that includes longshoremen and harbor employees. The act is codified in 33 U.S.C. 901–950 (Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act) and is applicable to all military bases. People who work at United States military stations overseas are covered by the DBA insurance policy.

defense base act attorney San Diego

The Defense Base Act is intended to give medical treatment and compensation to employees of defense contractors who are injured while working in the course and scope of their jobs. The DBA is administered by the Department of Labor of the United States of America.

Does The Defense Base Act Provide Protection?

The Defense Base Act covers the following employment activities:

  • Working for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the United States for military purposes outside of the United States, including those in U.S. territories. 
  • Working on public work contracts with any U.S. government agency, including construction and service contracts in connection with national defense or with war activities outside of the United States.
  • Working on contracts approved and funded by the United States under the Foreign Assistance Act.
  • Working for private employers on U.S. military bases or on any lands used by the United States.

If any of the aforementioned criteria is met, then the Act applies to all employees engaged in such employment, regardless of nationality, and they are all protected by the Act.

What are the types of injuries that can be compensated in a DBA claim?

There are two broad categories of workers’ compensation injuries for which you can file a claim. They are referred to as “specific injuries” and “cumulative trauma”.

Particular Injuries

“Specific” injuries occur as a result of a single, isolated work-related incident.

For instance, if you fall and injure your leg, or if you are the victim of an assault, or if a catastrophic event results in brain damage or paralysis, or if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident, these are all “specific” injuries that come from a single traumatic episode.

Injuries Caused by Cumulative or Repetitive Trauma

“Cumulative trauma” or “repetitive” injuries occur gradually over time while performing work. In some situations, you may first be unaware that you have sustained a work-related injury for which you may file a worker’s compensation claim.

For instance, if you lift heavy objects repeatedly and gradually develop back pain, or if you are constantly exposed to loud noise and develop hearing loss, or if you are routinely exposed to harmful chemicals, fumes, or other hazardous work materials and develop respiratory, brain, or other internal injuries, or if you run around all day and develop knee pain, these are all examples of injuries that develop over time as a result of exposure to a series of traumatic events.

Even if you cannot attribute your injury to a single occurrence, cumulative or repetitive stress injuries are nevertheless valid workers’ compensation claims, even if some of the traumatic events that contributed to your condition were not work-related.

Psychological Trauma

Along with physical injuries, psychological injuries such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder can occur as a result of “specific” or “cumulative trauma” and qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

DBA Claims for Deceased

Finally, for individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice and are killed on the job, the surviving spouse and dependent children may file a specific claim for death benefits.

Injured on the Road?

Call our car accidents lawyer in San Diego, CA to get compensated for your injuries.

What Should You Know About Reporting Injuries and Filing Claims?

Primary responsibility for injuries originating under the Defense Base Act is shared between two OWCP district offices: the New York district office and the Honolulu district office.

One year after the date of the injury or one year after receiving the last payment of compensation, whichever is later, a written claim for benefits must be made with the Office of the Workers’ Compensation District Director.

The OWCP district office is responsible for monitoring the payment of compensation and medical care to guarantee that the provisions of the Act are followed. In the event of a claim disagreement, OWCP claims examiners convene informal conferences to assist the parties in reaching a mutually agreeable or compromise resolution without resorting to formal litigation or arbitration.

After unsuccessfully attempting to resolve their differences informally, the disputing parties may request that the issue be referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges for a formal hearing. Decisions of the administrative law judge can be appealed to the Benefits Review Board, which can then be appealed to the United States District Court or the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Injured on the Road?

Call our car accidents lawyer in San Diego, CA to get compensated for your injuries.

Talk to a San Diego Defense Base Act Attorney to File Your DBA Claim!

A trusted Longshore Act lawyer and DBA attorney is a professional who can provide legal representation for injured workers who are covered under the Defense Base Act. Our San Diego personal injury lawyers at The Benner Law Firm can help with injury claims for simple circumstances or represent you and fight for your legal rights in a complex Defense Base Act claim. We commit ourselves to protect your rights as a civilian employee working outside the United States on US military bases.

Our San Diego legal team prides itself on having the knowledge and dedication necessary to help civilian employees who have suffered a severe injury while working on government contracts outside the United States. We will deliver thorough investigation, skillful negotiation, and litigation expertise in courts of law on your behalf and be with you until your case is over and finalized.

Talk to our San Diego Defense Base Act attorneys to take action today. We will work with you to obtain what you deserve and maximize your financial compensation. Call our San Diego personal injury law firm to schedule a consultation today.


Personal Injury Attorney

Ask a Personal Injury Attorney!

(619) 595-6795

Latest Posts


San Diego Office


Benner Law Firm, PC
409 Camino Del Rio S., Suite 106, San Diego, CA 92108, USA


Mon: 8:30AM - 5PM
Tue: 8:30AM - 5PM
Wed: 8:30AM - 5PM
Thu: 8:30AM - 5PM
Fri: 8:30AM - 5PM
Sat-Sun: Weekend Appointments Available

Want to talk? Leave us a Message

Footer Form

Copyright 2024 Benner Law Firm, PC - All Rights Reserved | Powered by Advantage Attorney Marketing & Cloud Solutions