What do you know about expatriate compensation? Sounds pretty exotic, right? Well it is basically what is paid to people injured while working as contract or civilian employees at U.S. military bases overseas. It is part of a compensation program called the Longshore and harbor workers compensation Act, that is part of the Defense Base Act. The Act also provides coverage for workers in many arenas of military employment.
And why do we have the Defense Base Act and expatriate compensation? Section 27, also known as the Jones Act, deals with cabotage such as coastal shipping. It requires that all goods transported by water between United States ports be carried in U.S. flag ships, owned by U.S. cities, constructed in the United States, and must be crewed by U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents. Therefore, there are many people who must be employed by companies in order to meet these maritime claims requirements. And these people need to have coverage in case of death or injury. It is interesting to note that in 2011 contractors made up more than 50 percent of the workforce of the Department of Defense in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Because of all of the different personnel required to run these operations, not just harbor workers and longshore workers are covered and may be eligible for expatriate compensation. In general, any person employed an independent contract working on a U.S. base or military installation is eligible for covers. People working for organizations such as the United Service Organization and the American Red Cross are also eligible for coverage and expatriate compensation.
Much like a regular workers compensation program, benefits and expatriate compensation programs are paid by a self insured employer. These expatriate compensation payments can be paid out to cover medical costs that are a result of injuries occurring during employment. The Office of Workers Compensation found that the average weekly wage is about $647.60, so this is why compensation due to injury is important. Families and individuals should not lose wages due to an on the job injury. Expatriate compensation can also be paid to dependents should the injury or injuries result in death.
You may want to find a Defense Base Act Attorney for advice if you feel you may be eligible for expatriate compensation.