The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) provides free legal help to some refugees and displaced people.
- IRAP helps some people find services and prepare refugee and visa applications.
- IRAP is not part of any government, IOM, or UNHCR.
- IRAP cannot grant refugee status or visas or speed up cases.
- IRAP cannot provide financial help, find or pay for housing, or find jobs.
- All of IRAP’s help is free. No one affiliated with IRAP has the right to ask you for money or any other service.
IRAP decides to help people based on their need and eligibility for immigration status. IRAP does not decide to help people based on any other social or political or religious criteria.
This website provides general information about legal processes available to some refugees. It is not meant as legal advice for individual applications.
This information was revised in August 2023. Requirements may change. Always check for current requirements from the government or agency deciding your request.
If you are in a refugee emergency, we recommend that you contact the UNHCR office in the country where you live .
What is The Defense Base Act (DBA)?
The Defense Base Act is a U.S. law. It allows people who work for the U.S. government contractors outside of the U.S. to receive money if they are injured because of their work. More information about the law is in English on this website from the U.S. Department of Labor.
People may be eligible for compensation if:
- They work or worked for the U.S. government or for a contractor with the U.S. government outside the U.S., and they were injured or experienced psychological harm because of their work.
- People may also be eligible if they are a close relative of someone who was killed working for the U.S. government outside of the U.S.
The injury or death does not have to happen on a U.S. base. It can occur while doing work off-base or after work hours. The injury has to be connected to employment for the United States.
In some cases, there are deadlines to apply for compensation.
People who have a valid claim may receive money or medical treatment or both. The Defense Base Act can provide money for:
- Medical costs
- If the employee dies because of the work, the spouse and children, or parents, can receive financial compensation
- Loss of income due to injury
The amount of money will depend on many things, including your salary, your medical costs, and many other factors.
Some private lawyers help in DBA processes. It is not a requirement to have a lawyer help you. However, in most cases you do not have to pay for the lawyer directly. The lawyer is paid by the insurance company if you receive money.
Below is a list of some of the lawyers who help in this process. These are not immigration lawyers.
IRAP is providing contact information for these lawyers because many Iraqis and Afghans have physical or mental harm from their work for the United States. IRAP does not endorse any of these lawyers and does not receive any money to refer you to these lawyers.
If you contact any of these lawyers, you should tell them:
- Your name and contact information
- Basic information about your employer and the kind of work you did when you were injured; and
- What kind of injury you received, including how long you missed work and any medical treatment you have received.
Jon B. Robinson
Strongpoint Law Firm, LLC
1070-B West Causeway Approach
Mandeville, LA 70471
Phone: (985) 246-3194
One Harbor Dr.
Sausalito, CA 94965
Phillip M. Davis
The Law Office of Phillip M. Davis
5050 Quorum Dr.
Dallas, TX 75254
Diamond Law Practice
One World Trade Center
New York, NY 10007
Grauel Law Offices
15 N. Main St.
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 369-5010 - phone
+1603-892-3410 – WhatsApp messaging, phone, and video
www.grauellaw.com/contact/ - fillable form for client contact
www.facebook.com/grauellaw - Facebook (contact via messenger)
Handling DBA cases for 10+ years; accepting new cases now.
Grauel Law Offices works with Law Offices of Bashir Ghazialam on Afghan SIV and DBA matters
Bashir’s team includes staff who speak Dari, Farsi, Pashto, and Arabic
(619) 795-3370 (phone - direct office)
(866) 827-5132 (phone - toll free)
+16197953370– WhatsApp messaging, phone, and video
Handling DBA cases for 5+ years; accepting new cases now. Handled dozens of DBA cases for American citizens as well as foreign nationals (local employees).
LAW OFFICES OF BASHIR GHAZIALAM
P.O. Box 928167
San Diego, CA 92192-8167
U.S.A (San Diego) Main Office Location:
10650 Scripps Ranch Boulevard, Suite 201
San Diego, CA 92131
U.S.A (Santa Ana) Office Location:
2112 E. 4th Street, Suite 228G
Santa Ana, CA 92705
U.S.A (San Francisco/Fremont/Bay Area) Office Location:
38750 Paseo Padre Pkwy, Unit A7
Fremont, CA 94536
Brian C. Karsen, Esq.
Barnett, Lerner, Karsen, Frankel & Castro, P.A.
2860 Marina Mile Blvd; Suite 105
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312
888-732-7425 US Toll Free