Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

blue water vesselThe Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act allows qualified injured workers to receive federal workers’ compensation type benefits for their injuries without regard to fault. The compensation is more limited than that allowed under the Jones Act.

This means if you are injured on a fixed platform in the Gulf of Mexico, you have a right to Longshore compensation benefits regardless of fault.

Other workers covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act include longshore workers or other persons in longshore operations, and other harbor workers including ship repairers, shipbuilders, harbor construction workers and shipbreakers. Seamen covered under the Jones Act and other workers covered by their state workers’ compensation law are not covered under the LHWCA.

The payments for disabled employees are paid at a rate of 66 2/3% of the employee’s average weekly wage for as long as the disability from the injury continues. This rate is subject to weekly maximum and minimum rates. Compensation is also available for certain permanent impairments. Benefits paid to a surviving spouse are paid at 50% of the deceased’s average weekly wage, and an additional 16 2/3% is payable to any surviving children.

Time is of the essence when initiating a claim for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. An injured employee must notify his or her employer of the injury or illness within 30 days of its occurrence, and a formal claim for benefits must be filed within one year of the date of the harm the worker has suffered.

These claims are handled through the United States Department Labor and are considered federal compensation claims.

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