Defense Contractors Can Get DBA Relief for PTSD
Defense contractors suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, too.
They put themselves in dangerous situations around the world all the time to support the U.S. military. And as I discussed in a recent blog post, the number of Defense Base Act (DBA) claims filed by contractors to obtain compensation for their injuries is on the rise. Those injuries can include not only physical injury but also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But employers and their insurance carriers routinely deny such claims and dispute the condition even exists or that it was caused by workplace exposure to dangerous conditions or hazards. That’s where an experienced attorney can help.
Recent U.S. Court of Appeals Case
In a recent case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals, the Court affirmed the award of benefits to a linguist in Iraq who had supported the American military for two years. The Court found that the claimant had met both the “medical” and “economic” aspect of “disability” as defined under the DBA Act. Necessary evidence required proof of an inability to earn his former wages upon his return from Iraq and expert medical testimony supporting the diagnosis. The evidence established that the claimant “could not work because of his psychiatric condition that developed from or was aggravated by employment in Iraq, and concluded that [the linguist] was entitled to compensation from the date he returned from Iraq” (per Global Linguist Solutions, LLC v. Abdulraouf Abdelmeged, 17-72516 [9th Cir. 2019]).
There are two lessons to learn from this case:
- Defense contractors who suffer from PTSD can and should file for DBA benefits.
- You need the assistance of an attorney to present the necessary evidence of your entitlement to these benefits.
At Capron Avgerinos & Heinlen, we can personally attest to the risks that defense contractors face. We have helped injured contractors recover compensation for their injuries under the DBA. For example, we negotiated a $635,000 settlement for a 53-year-old interpreter who suffered multiple injuries while deployed in Baghdad. The settlement included compensation for his disability and ongoing medical treatment over the course of his lifetime. You can learn more about our DBA work and expertise here.
Thanks to the DBA, civilian contractors have recourse to obtain some compensation for the price they have paid while serving our country. This blog post of mine provides more detail about who is covered and the benefits the DBA provides.
Call Capron Avgerinos & Heinlen
If an employee who is covered by the Defense Base Act is injured or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), he or she is entitled to disability and medical benefits. No two cases are the same, and the amount of compensation varies per situation. This is just one of many reasons an injured worker should contact an attorney that is experienced in Defense Base Act claims. Call Capron Avgerinos & Heinlen now at (855) 208-3699 if you believe you are entitled to compensation under the Defense Base Act. We are ready to assist. Let us show how we can deliver results for you.
My name is Isaiah Rivers. I’m a former defense contractor that just left Afghanistan 5 1/2 months ago I would like to put in a DBA claim for PTSD
I have been a government contractor since 2010 working for KBR. I have driven as part of the Theatre Transportation Mission team on the roads of Iraq where I have been exposed to live fire, IEDs, dangerous driving, running over anything that got in our way while on Convoy. I couldn’t fathom the mental anguish from running over humans while wearing personal protective equipment that weighs over 50 lbs. (Vest and Helmet). That was from 2010-2011. Then I was hired by Dyncorp International in 2012 for Afghanistan where I was in the bunker for almost 15 hours straight wearing the same PPE (Vest and Helmet) while our FOB was being overtaken by the Taliban on June 12, 2012. Now I am back with KBR 2018-current on Al Asad Airbase where several ballistic missles were launched from Iran on January 8, 2020 that have just put me over the top. The mental Trauma I have endured for all these years to include now daily headaches, loss of appetite, weight loss, restlessness (lack of sleep) for the last 30 days or so, Anxiety, Stress, Blank moments/movements, dizziness, unbalanced equilibrium, stomach illness for the past week or so, chest pain when I breathe unless pressure is applied to chest while breathing. I finally went to our Medic here on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq and he gave me a shot and some medicine to include taking a sick day. I explained to the Medic that I found myself in the Bunker Smoking a cigarette but I didn’t remember walking to the Bunker. He stated I am suffering from Anxiety and Stress which is a form of trauma PTSD. The accumulation of prolonged exposure to War degradated environments has placed tremendous amounts of trauma that has now led to physical symptoms of PTSD and no telling what else I am suffering from mentally. I don’t know what to do or where to turn but I desperately need my employment. What do I need to do to get my DBA initiated and processed?
Corey Williams Sr, PMP, LSSBB
Worked as a technician and supervisor for ManTech Corporation between 2007-2009, and Mantech/ Adams Communication and Engineering Technology in Afghanistan between 2010-2012. I suffer from PTSD symptoms.
I was diagnosed with PTSD by the VA in 2005 after a deployment to Iraq, but since I was not on active duty then I was not eligible for VA compensation. Can I provide the VA evidence and submit my DBA claim