Defense Base Act Law

Defense Base Act Law

There are four basic laws that define or influence the coverage required under the Defense Base Act. Below are descriptions of the laws, which we hope will adequately explain their relevance.

Defense Base Act

The law referred to as the Defense Base Act consists of only five sections, a mere five pages long. Most rules covering the administration of the act come from the Code of Federal Regulations, written regarding the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Passed in 1927, the United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) was created to force the uniformity of benefits and remedies available to longshoremen & harbor workers throughout the country. The LHWCA came along with an addition to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that laid out an infrastructure for administering the law. The rules of the LHWCA apply to the Defense Base Act in regard to:

  • Compensation Rates
  • Filing Times
  • Forms
  • Appeals
  • Rules of Evidence and Submission
  • Medical Benefits
  • Schedule for Permanent Loss

Status and situs, which determine entitlement to benefits, are specifically outlined in the Defense Base Act.

The Department of Labor has a document that does an excellent job of explaining the benefits mandated by the LHWCA that apply to the Defense Base Act.

Mutual Security Act

The Mutual Security Act is a web of laws, treaties, executive orders, and directives. Its major influence on DBA Coverage is that it adds military or public works contracts with foreign governments which are deemed necessary to our national security or defense obligations to the list of situations requiring Defense Base Act insurance.

Dayton Peace Agreement

Only really relevant to work in the Balkans, the Dayton Peace Agreement mandates that work for foreign governments under these agreements requires Defense Base Act coverage.