The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, or the LHWCA, is a federal law that offers benefits to harbor workers, longshoremen, shipyard and maritime workers in the United States. Other non-seamen marine workers who have been injured or developed various illnesses due to their job on navigable waters are also eligible. The LHWCA aims to protect those who are not protected by the Jones Act. The LHWCA is controlled through the United States Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs' Division of Longshore Workers' Compensation (OWCP). Keep on reading to learn your rights under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.
Who Does the LHWCA Cover?
The LHWCA covers about 500,000 hurt and/or handicapped maritime workers. The LHWCA covers maritime workers who work in different types of non-seaman jobs. Many non-seamen workers work harbors, shipyards and ports. Other workers covered by the LHWCA are those working on offshore facilities by the Outer Continental Shelf or on oil rigs.
The LHWCA covers any maritime injuries while a worker is in a facility on/near U.S. navigable waters. Facilities include terminals, piers, docks, or in general, anyplace ships are loaded and unloaded. The specific workers protected by the LHWCA are:
- Longshore workers
- Harbor construction workers
- Ship repairers
- Shipbreakers, and
- Waterfront crane operators
It is possible the LHWCA can protect non=marine workers if they are hurt while employed on U.S. navigable waters.
What are the Different Benefits Under the LHWCA?
Maritime workers protected by the LHWCA can receive temporary benefits while they are out of work while receiving treatment for an on-the-job injury. Expenses covered by the LHWCA are among surgeries, prescriptions, crutches, or any needed devices or amenities. Survivor benefits can also be provided for any maritime worker deaths. The LHWCA can also compensate up to two-thirds of an injured worker's lost wage, or for any injured body parts.
A maritime worker injured while working must also file a claim to report the time they lost from their work-related injury to the OWCP. An employer is obligated to give their injured worker the information and documents needed for them to file this claim. Employers must allow injured maritime workers to choose their own physician if they don't want treatment by a doctor affiliated with the company or insurer.
If you are a maritime worker and want to learn more about your rights under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, you can trust the Schwartz Law Firm LLC to help you. Our experienced maritime accident claim lawyers are available if you are ever injured and need to use the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. We have two locations in Louisiana, one Metairie and another in Baton Rouge. Feel free to call us today for your free initial consultation at 504-837-2263.