Defense Base Act Compensation Blog

The Modern Day DBA Casualty

Dropping the DBA ball

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on April 18, 2009

In a recent story on injured contractors by ProPublica,

Miranda Chiu,
This Miranda Chiu,

Miranda Chiu, U.S. Dept. of Labor,

Chief, Branch of Policy,Regulations and Procedures,


Is quoted as saying:

“The problem that we see a lot is where injuries occur overseasthe knee-jerk reaction is the insurance company says, ‘I can’t pay right now. I don’t have documentation,’ ”

said Miranda Chiu, Labor’s director of policy for Defense Base Act claims.

“They drop the ball.”

Editors Note:  All DBA injuries occur overseas unless they are on the way to or from the overseas jobsite

Now according to the Defense Base Act:

The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), Division
of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, administers the Defense Base Act, ensuring that workers’ compensation benefits are provided for covered employees promptly and correctly.

How much blood on the ground does it take to get documentation?

The employer and the injured contractor have specific time limits, like 10 days, on the time they get to provide the proper documents.   All of the paperwork goes through the DoL.


AIG  and CNA couldn’t get away with  “dropping the ball” as a matter of rule if the Department of Labor was anywhere near the park.

15 Responses to “Dropping the DBA ball”

  1. Ms Sparky said

    Wells said. I think I will do a post on this and link to your post if you don’t mind.

    Don’t be discouraged. They play the blame game, just like the DoD and KBR. We have to keep calling them on their crap.

    Ms Sparky

  2. defensebaseactcomp said

    Honored, of course

  3. Krash said

    Would somebody please explain to me how to get medical documentation from a war zone within 10 days of the “accident/incident” when your injuries are received outside of a military base, supposed to have been documented by the employer company personnel when you arrive at the closest safe haven military base, then when the injured contractor is sent to their home base where medical treatment comes with the threat of termination of employment. Or you actually are so severely injured that you are sent home via the military medivac system and never return to overseas country.

    DoL is denying claims based on “lack of medical documentation” within a certain time frame of the “accident/incident” that causes the injury, even though the injured contractor has documentation that the “accident/incident” occurred in an overseas country, and medical documentation (but it is not within the 10-30 day time frame).

  4. defensebaseactcomp said

    The employer is required to have the DBA insurance information and employee responsibilites posted in the workplace. There is a fine for not doing this. Guess it’s another one of those things the DoL doesn’t deem important.
    If the injuries are such that you never leave the workplace this is probably fine, if it is actually posted there.
    When you land on your back in a pool of blood, are medivaced and on morphine for weeks, maybe have some brain damage from all of this you might not be able to make that 10-30 day window.
    Even if the employer did explain the DBA to you and did post your responsibilities.

  5. “The problem that we see a lot is where injuries occur overseas

    the knee-jerk reaction is the insurance company says,

    ‘I can’t pay right now. I don’t have documentation,’ ”

    This would be the LS 207
    Notice of Controversion of Right to Compensation

    Which must be approved by the Department of Labor?

    Are they just approving them all?

    Do they ever see them?

  6. Awifewatchingherhusbandsuffer said

    Maybe what all of the contractors need to do is start pinning one to their chest please file this out before moving me to another hospital and have my employer sign it so I can get paid when I get home.

    Come on DOL get off your ass and get a clue. What more do you want from these men and women you have their blood and tears and from some their lives. How about getting off your asses and doing the job you get paid for. Stop letting big buisness get away with everything.

  7. Joshua Gillelan said

    What’s the ten-day period you’re referring to? I don’t think there’s any such requirement in the law.

  8. defensebaseactcomp said

    Thanks for pointing that out. Us non lawyers can use all the help we can get
    slogging through the statutes, cfr’s, etc.
    It’s the employer that must report the injury or death within 10 days
    The employee has 30 days.

  9. (2) No claim for medical or surgical treatment shall be valid and enforceable against such employer unless, within ten days following the first treatment, the physician giving such treatment furnishes to the employer and the deputy commissioner a report of such injury or treatment, on a form prescribed by the Secretary. The Secretary may excuse the failure to furnish such report within the ten-day period whenever he finds it to be in the interest of justice to do so.

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  12. anonymousonpurpose said

    Hey Miranda,

    About dropping the ball: you would be in LAST place in the NBA right now due to turnovers from “dropping the ball!”

    How about some care and compassion?! How about doing your JOB!

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