Federal lawmakers enacted the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to compensate workers injured while working in the U.S.’s navigable waters. This federal law allows injured maritime workers to recover medical costs and lost wages, and vocational rehabilitation training, if necessary. It also provides survivor benefits to a deceased worker’s designee.
The LHWCA only protects workers employed in certain maritime occupations. You should check to see if it includes yours if you suffer injuries on the job.
Who does the LHWCA protect?
Workers employed in traditional maritime occupations, such as longshore workers, ship-repairers, shipbuilders or ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers, may all qualify for LHWCA protection.
A worker’s eligibility for protection under LHWCA depends on where their injuries occurred as well. Their injury must have occurred in U.S. navigable waters or adjoining areas, such as piers, docks, terminals, wharves or harbors.
Who does not qualify for LHWCA protection?
LHWCA does not cover certain types of workers, including:
- Seaman employed by state, federal or foreign governments
- Any workers who suffer injuries resulting from their intoxication
- Anyone who suffers injuries due to self-harm
- Those workers employed in clerical, security or data processing roles that are eligible to receive state workers’ compensation
The Defense Base Act (DBA) is an extension of the LHWCA, covering those employed by private employers on U.S. military bases, both domestically and abroad.
How can you proceed in your workplace injury case?
Many individuals find it challenging sorting out whether they qualify for compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Defense Base Act or some other program. An attorney can help you understand your right to compensation when you’re looking to get medical help and the financial support you need to survive.