Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Lawyers
The Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that grants workers’ compensation for wounded employees who work in the areas used for loading, unloading, crafting, and repairing a sea vessel. The LHWCA also covers workers who work on navigable waters within the U.S. The act ensures that employers (or insurance companies covering an employer) properly compensate an injured worker when a work-related injury requires medical care, vocational rehabilitation, or missed work days. The LHWCA also covers survivor benefits.
Who Is Covered by the LHWCA?
The LHWCA covers numerous offshore and maritime occupations including:
For an employee to be covered by the LHWCA, he or she must be injured in a location outlined under the above-mentioned list. A non-traditional employee may be covered under the LHWCA if they are injured on navigable waters.
Who Is Covered Under LHWCA Extensions?
Here is a list of LHWCA extensions and their outlined beneficiaries as defined under LHWCA extension:
- Defense Base Act (DBA): Covers a plethora of private and personal workers who are employed on a defense base. Some of these workers include private employees working on U.S. military bases or on any lands outside of America where the U.S. military is residing; and contractor employees who are either: running a public work contract with an American government agency anywhere outside of the United States, or selling military goods or services to U.S. allies. Another covered employee under the DBA is a maritime operative who is working under an American employer and providing welfare or other social services for the benefit of the Armed Services.
- Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA): This extension of the LHWCA covers employees who work on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States in the examination and advancement of natural resources, such as offshore drilling employees.
- Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NAFIA): This extension covers employees who work as nonappropriated fund instrumentalities of the Armed Forces (for example, workers who help shape the confidence, wellbeing, and satisfaction of Armed Forces personnel). A worker who falls under this category could be a counselor, a motivational speaker, or other civilian worker.
Who Is Excluded from the LHWCA?
- Government employees
- Intoxicated employees
- Employees who harm themselves
- Various workers covered under state workers’ compensation law
How Does the Jones Act Differ from the LHWCA?
The Jones Act and the LHWCA accomplish the same goal: workers’ compensation for a group of workers. However, the outlined group of employees differ between the two acts. Under the LHWCA, maritime workers who do not “directly aid in the function or mission of a sea vessel” are covered. The Jones Act covers employees who “directly aid in the function or mission of a sea vessel.”
Who Upholds the LHWCA?
The Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs (OWCP) carries out declarations of workers’ compensation cases among employees covered by the LHWCA. In a scenario where a claim is denied; a maritime attorney who tries cases, such as our team, can help a claimant seek compensation.
Am I Automatically Covered by the LHWCA as a Maritime Employee?
While you will be covered by the LHWCA automatically as an employee that meets the LHWCA requirements for coverage, you are not guaranteed compensation under the LHWCA. In the event that you sustain an injury while working in LHWCA conditions, you will have to file with the OWCP. Your claim can be denied by OWCP, or it can be contested by your employer. For these reasons, it is important that you have a maritime injury law firm behind you should your LHWCA claim be denied. Arnold & Itkin's maritime attorneys are some of the best in the business. Our legal team has recovered billions for their clients and holds record-setting verdicts and settlements for maritime employees. The LHWCA does not grant automatic compensation, but we can help. If you have any questions about the LHWCA or need help with your LHWCA, call our firm!
Call (888) 493-1629 to talk to our attorneys about the LHWCA and your potential claim.