Defense Base Act Lawyer discusses total disability in a DBA case

If you are a contractor who has been injured on the job while working overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan or on any military base across the world, your case is covered by the Defense Base Act which is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.  At the Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A., we have a combination of over 43 years of experience in representing injured workers covered by the Defense Base Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.   Let us put our years of experience and our reputation to work for you today!  Contact us today at, or go on our website at and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.
Here are some very interesting facts and case summaries regarding total disability in a DBA or Longshore case coming directly from the Longshore Deskbook from the Benefits Review Board.  The Longshore Desk Book is a searchable website which is a public record.  According to the Longshore Deskbook:
Disability is defined as the “incapacity because of injury to earn the wages which the employee was receiving at the time of injury in the same or any other employment.” 33 U.S.C. §902(10). Total disability is demonstrated where the employee is unable to work at his pre-injury job or perform suitable alternate work.
The same standards apply regardless of whether the claim is for temporary total or permanent total disability. Bell v. Volpe/Head Constr. Co, 11 BRBS 377 (1979).
The Board and the United States Courts of Appeals have adopted a “shifting burdens” approach to total disability. To establish a prima facie case of total disability, the employee must show that he cannot return to his regular or usual employment due to his work-related injury. If the employee meets this burden, the employer must establish the availability of realistic job opportunities within the geographic area where the employee resides which he is capable of performing, considering his age, education, work experience, and physical restrictions, and which he could secure if he diligently tried.
If you have a question about temporary or permanent total disability benefits in your DBA or Longshore case, Contact Us today at, or go on our website at and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.

Clifford R. Mermell, Esq.
Clifford R. Mermell, Esq., created the law firm of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. on March 1, 1996. Mr. Mermell has been the senior and managing partner of the firm since its creation. The firm was created to champion the rights of injured workers nationwide. It represents cases under the Worker's Compensation, Wrongful Termination, Personal Injury, Admiralty and Maritime, Defense Base Act, and Longshore & Harbor Worker's Compensation Act Laws.

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