Defense Base Act Attorneys Explain Benefits Injured Workers Are Entitled To Recover If Injured In Iraq Or Afghanistan While Covered By The Defense Base Act

The Defense Base Act (“DBA”) provides workers’ comp benefits to civilian employees and private military contractors injured while working outside the U.S. on bases or working for a company under a U.S. Government contract for national defense or for public works. The majority of claims today result from injuries sustained while working overseas in Afghanistan or Iraq.
There are two types of injuries under the Defense Base Act: 1) Scheduled Injuries and 2) Unscheduled Injuries. Scheduled injuries provide a set number of weeks of benefits when particular body parts are injured. Below is a listing of the scheduled injuries under Section 908 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”), as extended by the Defense Base Act:
Scheduled Injuries:
(1) Arm lost, 312 weeks’ compensation.
(2) Leg lost, 288 weeks’ compensation.
(3) Hand lost, 244 weeks’ compensation.
(4) Foot lost, 205 weeks’ compensation.
(5) Eye lost, 160 weeks’ compensation.
(6) Thumb lost, 75 weeks’ compensation.
(7) First finger lost, 46 weeks’ compensation.
(8) Great (big) toe lost, 38 weeks’ compensation.
(9) Second finger lost, 30 weeks’ compensation.
(10) Third finger lost, 25 weeks’ compensation.
(11) Toe other than great (big) toe lost, 16 weeks’ compensation.
(12) Fourth (ring) finger lost, 15 weeks’ compensation.
(13) Compensation for loss of hearing in one ear, 52 weeks’ compensations.
(14) Compensation for loss of hearing in both ears, 200 weeks compensation
All other injuries are considered to be unscheduled injuries under the DBA, for example injures to the head, neck, shoulders, back and hips and emotional injuries such as PTSD, depression or anxiety.
The formula to determine the number of weeks of benefits available is determined by your doctor, by calculating your impairment rating based upon the AMA Guides after you reach your maximum medical improvement.
If you have any questions about your benefits under the Defense Base Act, please contact Clifford R. Mermell, Esq. or any of our team of qualified lawyers and paralegals.  We are here to help you.  Fill out the form on our website for your FREE CONSULTATION. We will educate you on several things that you need to be doing right now to protect your rights. We have over 36 years of combined experience helping injured workers under the Defense Base Act. Call us at 305 595 3350 or email us at or

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