Sometimes it is good to get a refresher on some of the basics. Accordingly, in this article, we want to help you understand some of the basics of a somewhat obscure workers’ compensation law called the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) 

If, after reading this article, you have more questions about your own circumstances, then the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act in Jacksonville at RITE Law is here to help. At RITE Law, we have a group of attorneys who have your best interests at heart, and who have the training and resources to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.  Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so call today.

What is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The LHWCA is a federal law that provides payments for people who become disabled as a result of workplace injuries. The injury must occur on the navigable waters of the United States or in adjoining areas generally used for loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel. 

Payments are provided for compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to the injured employee. The employer pays the compensation for the Act through its insurance. If for some reason the employer is insolvent and cannot pay benefits, however, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, which administers the  LHWCA, will pay from a special fund.

Additionally, the LHWCA provides survivor benefits to dependents of the employee if the injury causes or contributes to the employee’s death. If you need someone to help you navigate the process, there are Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act attorneys in Jacksonville who can help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at RITE Law.

Who Does the Act Cover?

The act covers traditional maritime employees, such as longshore workers, shipbuilders or shipbreakers, ship repairers, and harbor construction workers. It is also possible for a non-maritime worker to be covered if he or she performa work duties on navigable waters, and that’s where the injury occurred.

Longshore Act Extensions

Over the years since the beginning of the LHWCA, Congress expanded the Act to cover other types of employment. If an employee is deemed eligible for compensation under one of the extensions, they will be entitled to the same benefits as someone who is covered under the LHWCA.  Here are a few of the LHWCA extensions.

1. The Defense Base Act (DBA)

The DBA expands the LHWCA to include the following employment activities: 

1. Working for a private employer on a United States Military base. This also applies to any lands used by the US for military purposes, even if it is outside of the United States.
2. Work on public contracts with national defense or with war activities outside of the United States
3. Work on contracts that have been funded and approved by the United States under the Foreign Assistance Act.
4. Work for employers in the United States who are providing welfare or similar services outside of the US for the benefit of the Armed Services.

2. Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act

This Act covers employees who work on the Outer Continental Shelf of the United States in the exploration and development of natural resources. One example of this is offshore oil drilling rigs.

3. Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act

This Act covers civilians who are employees of non-appropriated fund instrumentalities of the Armed Forces Examples of this include military base exchanges and morale, welfare, and recreational facilities.

Who Does LHWCA Not Cover?

The following groups of people are expressly excluded from the LHWCA:

1. People employed by the United States government or any foreign government
2. Employees whose injuries are caused due to their intoxication
3. Employees who were injured while intentionally trying to harm themselves or others
4. A person whose sole job is to perform clerical, secretarial, security, or data processing work
5. A person employed by a club, camp, recreational operation, museum, restaurant, or retail outlet
6. An employee who works for a marina but does not take part in construction, replacement, or expansion of the marina, outside of routine maintenance
7. Aquaculture workers
8. Small vessel workers who are exempt by certification of the Secretary of Labor
9. Any person who has been hired to build a recreational vessel under 65 feet in length.

What Is the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs?

The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) is responsible for overseeing the LHWCA. Within the OWCP, there is the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC). It is the job of the OWCP/DLHWC to maintain documentation of injuries and deaths that are reported under the LHWCA. They also review claims to determine whether the correct benefits are paid in a timely manner. 

Contact an Experienced Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Attorney in Jacksonville Today

We at RITE law started our firm for one reason – to provide a firm in Florida that is “big enough to fight but small enough to care.” At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.  

Expect lots of attention, passionate representation, and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that this attitude and expertise leads to the best results possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or an assistant. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way. 

We also take pride in creating an atmosphere where every client is treated like family. Family members stick up for one another no matter what. You should expect nothing less from the RITE Law Longshore and Harbor Workers Act Attorneys in Jacksonville.

When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, ensuring that every detail of your claim is addressed appropriately. Call us for help. Our number is (904) 500-RITE, or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not decide whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.