TN 3 (12-19)

DI 52115.025 Other Federal Workers’ Compensation (WC) Programs

The Federal WC programs discussed in this section provide WC coverage for high-risk occupations or occupations not covered under any other WC plan.

A. Extensions of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA)

The Department of Labor administers a number of WC programs that have grown out of the LHWCA. The Department of Labor district offices (DO) handle claims filed under these provisions. The LHWCA does not prohibit the receipt of both SSA and LHWCA benefits. However, SSA may reduce the benefits it pays based on the amount of WC payments received. All these WC programs are subject to WC offset. Processing instructions for these WC programs are found in DI 52115.010.

1. Defense Base Act (DBA)

The DBA provides WC benefits to civilian employees working at military, air and naval bases outside the United States (U.S.) under a contract with the U.S. government for public works or national defense. Permanent total disability and death benefits are subject to annual cost of living allowances (COLAs). The LHWCA minimum benefit rate does not apply to DBA claims. Therefore, when verifying rates, do not assume payments made under the DBA should agree with the payments made under the LHWCA. If the beneficiary cannot provide proof of the WC, contact the following:

  • Insurance carriers;

  • Self-insured employers; or

  • LHWCA district office in the Compensation District where the claimant resides. Refer to the DOL website .

  • A list of insurance carriers and self-insured employers currently authorized to write coverage under the LHWCA are available on the DOL website.


    Cases are first reported to the New York, Boston, or Honolulu DO, depending on which side of the world the injury occurs, and then transferred to the DO responsible for the State in which the claimant resides.

2. War Hazards Compensation Act (WHCA)

The WHCA extends the DBA to provide compensation for those overseas civilian employees of contractors with the United States who do not work on a military, air or naval base. If an injury or death claim related to a "war-risk hazard," is reported, the WHCA provides for government reimbursement from the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) to private WC insurance carriers. (This makes it easier for employers to obtain WC insurance coverage for their employees.)


Reimbursement for employers or carriers from the FECA Fund does not affect the offset computation. Direct reimbursement to employers for out-of-pocket expenses is permissible.

When verification is necessary, send requests for verification to: U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Branch of Special Claims, P.O. Box 37117, Washington, D.C. 20013-7117.

3. Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA)

The OCSLA covers primarily oilrig employees. The LHWCA issues the compensation. When verification is necessary, develop to the appropriate longshore district office. See DOL website for contact information.

4. Non-Appropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act (NAFIA)

The NAFIA covers disability or death resulting from injury occurring to civilian employees on military bases that provide support services to military personnel (e.g., post exchanges, bowling alleys). The Armed Forces (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard) pays the wages of these employees from non-appropriated funds. When verification is necessary, develop to the LHWCA district office servicing DBA claims. See DOL website for contact information.

5. District of Columbia Workers' Compensation Act (DCWCA)

a. Date of injury/illness prior to 07/26/1982

The DCWCA compensates employees of private companies within the District of Columbia for on the job injuries or illnesses that occurred before 07/26/1982. The DOL handles these claims. If the NH cannot provide documentation, contact DOL at:

Longshore District Office #40,

DC Department of Employment Services

64 New York Ave NE - 2nd Floor

Washington DC 20002

b. Date of injury/illness on or after 07/26/1982

Claims arising from injuries or illnesses occurring on or after 07/26/1982 fall under the District of Columbia Workers’ Compensation Act of 1979, which created the D.C. Department of Employment Services and gave it oversight authority for WC claims. Private WC insurance carriers hold the responsibility to pay DC workers' compensation. Develop directly to the WC carrier if the NH is unable to provide proof. For more information on WC in the District of Columbia, see DI 52120.050 District of Columbia Workers' Compensation.

B. War Claims Act

Payments under the War Claims Act are WC. The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, a division of the Department of Justice, administers the War Claims Act. It covers for example, civilian American citizens captured and held in Southeast Asia or their eligible survivors, and members of the Armed Forces of the United States held as prisoners of war during the Vietnam conflict or their eligible survivors. Information is available on the DOJ website:

C. Public Safety Officer Benefit (PSOB) Act

Provides one-time lump sum disability benefit to public safety officers permanently and totally disabled by a catastrophic injury sustained in the line of duty. These benefits are administered by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), PSOB Office. The PSOB disability benefit is a discretionary program, that is dependent on a Congressional appropriation each fiscal year. Representatives may petition the PSOB office for fee authorization. The PSOB will specify the amount of the authorized fee. Information is available on the DOJ PSOB website:

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DI 52115.025 - Other Federal Workers’ Compensation (WC) Programs - 12/09/2019
Batch run: 12/18/2019