The DBA is an extension of the LHWCA, which was passed in 1927 to implement the uniformity of workers’ compensation benefits available to longshoremen and harbor workers from injuries that occur on the navigable waters throughout the United States.
The rules of the LHWCA apply to the DBA in regard to the following:
1. Compensation rates
2. Filing times
5. Rules of evidence and submission
6. Medical benefits
7. Schedule for permanent loss
An amendment was added in 1958 to clarify that service contracts, even those which do not directly provide for “construction, alteration, removal or repair,” are included in the definition of public work.
Who/What is covered by the Defense Base Act?
The DBA covers the following employment activities:
1. Any defense base acquired from any foreign government
2. Lands occupied or used by the United States for military purposes outside the continental United States
3. Public work in any Territory or possession under a contract with the United States
4. Public work outside the United States not covered under (3)
5. Contract outside the United States approved and financed by the United States.
6. Welfare or similar services outside the United States for troops authorized by the Department of Defense.
Zone of Special Danger Doctrine
Defense Act Exceptions
Your Workers’ Compensation Resource
More information is also available from your local Longshore District Director office, which covers DBA claims. Benefit levels can be calculated using the statistics found at Department of Labor.