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Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act

September 16, 2014

Certain maritime occupations neither fall under state workers’ compensation law nor qualify for the Jones Act. These occupations may include:

  • Longshoremen
  • Harbor workers
  • Ship maintenance workers
  • Ship builders
  • Various maritime occupations

Although these professions involve working around boats and docks, and may even include some time actively on the water, they may not meet the Jones Act requirement that a claimant be defined as a “seaman,” which the act defines as someone who spends at least 30 percent of his or her time “in the service of a vessel in navigation.”

If you are injured on the job or develop an occupational illness related to your job duties, then you may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) if you cannot sue your employer under the Jones Act. The Longshore Act also includes benefits for families of maritime workers who die as a result of work injury or illness.

The benefits provided by the LHWCA mean you cannot sue your employer for injury or occupational disease. The benefits provide compensation as well as medical care and rehabilitation services. Check with your employer to find out if you qualify for these benefits.