Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)
Loyola Law School &
U. S. Department of Labor
OWCP DBA ConferenceOctober 2008
BENEFITS UNDER THEDEFENSE BASE ACT
Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs
Division of Longshore and Harbor
Benefits Under the DBA
- Medical Treatment
- Disability Compensation
- Death Benefits
- Vocational Rehabilitation
- Medical Treatment by a physician of the employee’s choice.
- Medical care must be related to the employment injury or illness.
- Medical treatment is payable for as long as the injury or illness requires.
- Temporary Total
- Temporary Partial
- Permanent Total with annual increases
- Based upon wage loss (unscheduled)
- Based upon percent of loss of use of specified body part (scheduled)
Compensation is Determined by Average Weekly Wage (AWW)
- Temporary Total (TTD): 2/3 of the AWW
- Temporary Partial (TPD): 2/3 of employee’s loss of wages
- Permanent Total (PTD): 2/3 of the AWW
- Permanent Partial (PPD):
2/3 of loss of earning capacity (unscheduled PPD) or,
TTD for a defined number of weeks for a % of permanent impairment of a scheduled body part (scheduled PPD)
Maximum & Minimum
- Compensation is subject to a Maximum Compensation Rate, which is adjusted annually.
- Current Maximum as of 10/01/08 = $1,200.62 per week.
- There is no Minimum Compensation Rate under the DBA.
Example 1: Truck driver earning $37,700/year w/injuries to back and right arm
- AWW: $37,700 ÷ 52 = $725
- TTD: 2/3 x $725 = $483
- PTD: 2/3 x $725 = $483
- PPD Unscheduled wage loss:
2/3 x ($725 – 300) = $283
- PPD Scheduled body part:
50% x 312 weeks x $725 = $113,100
Example 2: Same truck driver earning $95,000/yr in Iraq
- AWW: $95,000 ÷ 52 = $1,826.92
- TTD: 2/3 x $1,826.92 = $1,200.62 (max)
- PTD: 2/3 x $1,826.92 = $1,200.62 (max)
- PPD unscheduled wage loss:
2/3 x ($1,826.92 – $300) = $1,017.97
- PPD scheduled body part:
50% x 312 weeks x $1,200.62 = $187,296.72
- Section 10 – compensation is based on AWW and calculated as follows:
- (a) earnings ÷ days worked x 300/260
- (b) same as similarly situated employee
- (c) “reasonable” estimate of earning capacity at the time of injury
- Burial Expenses of up to $3,000.
- 50% of AWW for the surviving spouse, or if no spouse, for one surviving child.
- 16⅔ of AWW for one or more surviving children, shared equally, in addition to the 50% for spouse and one child.
- Child benefit is paid up to age 18, student benefit through age 23 if in school full-time.
- Permanent total disability and death benefits are subject to annual adjustment (increase) based on U.S. national average weekly earnings as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Annual adjustments are applied on October 1 of each year.
Lifetime Disability Payments
- Permanent disability is payable as long as disability continues. Spousal death benefit is payable for life, unless remarried.
- A 40 year old earning $1,500/week will receive permanent total disability benefits over his 35 year life expectancy:
@ $1,000 x 52 weeks x 35 years = $1,820,000, not including cost of living adjustments.
Lifetime Death Benefits
- If the same employee had been killed, his 30 year old widow and 2 infant children will receive over the life of the claim in excess of $2,000,000, not including annual adjustments.
- Widow @ $750 x 52 weeks x 45 years = $1,755,000
- Children @ $250 x 52 x 21 years = $273,000
- Permanent disability and death benefits payable to aliens and non-US citizens residing outside the US may be commuted.
- Commuted benefit is equal to one half of the present value of future compensation, paid in one lump sum.
- Vocational Rehabilitation services for permanently disabled employees unable to return to employment without assistance.
- Currently rehabilitation services are only available to those permanently disabled employees residing in the United States.