What Is DBA?

Defense Base Act insurance is federally mandated workers compensation coverage for U.S. government contractors working outside the continental United States. Defense Base Act is known as the “sole remedy” because it protects the employer from certain liability claims while also protecting the employee from work-related injuries, disabilities, and even provides death benefits. These U.S. Government-funded contracts require employers to purchase Defense Base Act insurance for all U.S. civilian contractors, third-country nationals, and local national, whether they are considered primary contractors or subcontractors for the U.S. government.

The United States Department of labor was established in March of 1913 by President William Howard Taft. The department’s purpose was to promote and develop jobs, job safety, and enhance opportunities for the working American. As the Department of labor evolved over the years and the U.S. entered World War 1 in April of 1917, it was becoming apparent that in addition to all the other labor issues going on at that time, injured U.S. contractors working abroad were not covered under their state workers compensation program.

As time went on and as the United States was about to enter world war II, the 77th Congress enacted the Defense base Act on August 16, 1941. The Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act which also provides for Disability, death, rehabilitation, medical injuries, and funeral expenses are also covered under the Defense Base Act.
The United States Department of Labor oversees the Defense Base Act insurance program. However, the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation administrates the Defense Base Act, which is a division of The Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP). Congress enacted the Defense Base Act to provide workers compensation benefits to any U.S. government contractors working outside the continental United States. U.S. Federal Law mandates this coverage for any work being performed abroad regardless of whether the work is being performed on a U.S. military base of not.