Defense Base Act Attorney explains what to do when injured in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait
Civilian contractors injured in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait are afforded valuable benefits under the Defense Base Act. Below is a guide as to the benefits you are entitled to receive and what you need to do to protect your right to those benefits.
Benefits Under the Defense Base ActIf you are a civilian contractor injured while working in Iraq, Afghanistan or Kuwait under a contract with the U.S. government, you are entitled to receive all reasonable and necessary medical care for your injuries and compensation payable at 2/3 of your average weekly wage up to a maximum, which for the year 2014 is $1,346.68 per week. These benefits are payable for so long as your doctor says that you are unable to work. Once a doctor says that you are able to return to work, the benefits may still be payable if you cannot return to your previous employment. Once you have reached maximum medical improvement, your benefits will switch from temporary to permanent in nature. If you have an injury to the head, neck, back or shoulders, you will be eligible to receive the benefits for life. If you have an injury to the arms, legs, hands, feet, eyes or hearing loss, you may be limited to a scheduled award for a certain number of weeks for the body part affected. If you have a loved one who is killed as a result of a work accident, you will be eligible to receive death benefits as well. Those are paid at 50% of the average weekly wage to the surviving spouse, with an additional maximum of 16 and 2/3% for surviving children
What to do when injured in Iraq, Afghanistan or KuwaitYou should report your injury to your employer within 30 days of your accident. You should immediately seek medical care and establish a medical record for your injuries. Be aware that under the Defense Base Act, you have the right to select your treating physician. Contact an attorney who specializes in handling cases under the Defense Base Act. This law is very specialized and requires the services of a skilled practitioner.
How long do I have to file a claim under the Defense Base ActYou have one year from the date of your accident, or one year from the date you were last paid compensation, in order to file a claim to protect your right to ongoing compensation benefits. The right to ongoing medical care has no statute of limitations.