The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is the maritime option for injured workers. It is the alternative to the traditional workers’ compensation program that does not cover this industry.
The US Department of Labor explains the LHWCA is a federal law providing compensation for workers who suffer injuries on the job when that job occurs on US waterways. It offers a range of benefits.
The LHWCA offers typical workers’ compensation coverage. You can get payment for medical care and other needs associated directly with treating your injury. You also can receive vocational rehabilitation and payment for lost wages.
If you or a loved one dies as a result of a work accident or situation, your family has the right to claim survivor benefits from the LHWCA.
The LHWCA benefits come from an insurance policy paid for by the employer. The employer can also self-insure, which would make it directly liable to pay out benefits.
You are eligible to make a claim under the LHWCA if you work in a maritime occupation. Your injury must happen when you are working on the water within the US, including work done loading and unloading vessels. You may also qualify if you suffer an injury on the water even if you are not a maritime worker. There are some specific occupations excluded under this act, so you should always check for your eligibility prior to making a claim.
The process for filing a claim is just like any other injury claim. You would report it to your supervisor as soon as possible, seek needed medical care, and file a claim form. You must file a claim within one year of the injury or become aware of the injury.
The LHWCA provides coverage for maritime workers who may not have coverage under traditional workers’ compensation.