The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act 2017
As a reminder, we share The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Law with our clients that was passed in 1927. The Longshore Act Law provides compensation for medical care, vocational rehabilitation, and loss of wages due to a disability for longshore, harbor and maritime workers. It initially covered employees who work on the navigable waters of the United States or adjacent areas.
The act also provides for survivors’ benefits for loved ones of those killed on the job. Injuries covered under the law include not just broken bones or wounds but occupational diseases such as hearing loss and illnesses contracted while on the job, perhaps from exposure to harmful chemicals or substances.
The law has had several extensions, or amendments to include additional workers, over the years. The Defense Base Act was passed in 1941 to cover civilian contractors working for the military.
The Non-Appropriated Funds Act was passed in 1952 for civilian employees of “non-appropriated” sources of military funds. It covers people who work in military base exchanges or recreational facilities, for example.
If you’re a civilian contractor, or a family member of a civilian contractor, the Longshore and Harbor Act spells out what you’re entitled to receive because of the extension of coverage. If you’re sent to a war zone, you’re at risk of injury and illness. Harm contractors experience includes traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Employers are expected to obtain this workers’ compensation insurance through one of the providers working with the federal government. If you are injured or have an illness, you first report that to your employer, and the claim is processed through the insurance company.
If your employer or the insurance provider fold or go bankrupt, the federal Office of Workers’ Compensation Program has a fund set aside that should still be able to provide workers with coverage.
What you’re entitled to is medical treatment for your injuries, vocational rehabilitation services and temporary or permanent disability payments. Disability benefits are partial or total, depending on how much you can work after your injury.
It’s good to know the rules for filing claims and when to file them before you enter a conflict zone or become hurt. For example, workers are to notify a supervisor of an injury immediately, receive immediate medical treatment, and then file a written report of the injury with 30 days of it happening or of you becoming aware of the problem.
But did you know there are forms that you may complete in advance, as a backup plan for you, should an injury or illness occur. You keep a copy, you bring it to employer and keep a file of it on you 24-7 in your wallet. It includes key medical care providers, your directives for medical care and key information for insurance-related issues.
Why is this important? You might not be able to do any of the planned things if you have a severe injury or illness, so getting help from an attorney is also a good idea. The attorney is free and works on your behalf to ensure that the medical care you desire and the doctors are used. Without legal help, this process can be challenging.
Your Legal Fees Are Paid
You won’t pay a dime for the Longshore Act and Defense Base Act help which immediately pay for your:
- Legal fees
- Medical care
If there’s a dispute over a claim, say the insurance company denies the claim and you want to challenge that, you or you and your attorney can go before an administrative law judge of the Office of Workers’ Compensation. It’s best not to go it alone.
For information about the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, go to the Department of Labor website or contact a knowledgeable attorney.
The Longshore Act
Garfinkel Schwartz practices Longshore Act law (the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act law) is a federal act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1927. This act covers longshoremen and employees in occupations that occur on the ocean, rivers, estuaries, ports and coasts that are related to ship building, loading, unloading, repair, positions.
The Longshore Act is a law that covers longshoremen, harbor workers, shrimpers, sailors, divers working on federal waterways. It covers workers on docks or ports anywhere in the U.S., or in an large body of water including rivers.
It covers employees doing bridge work on rivers or in an around the river beds or working on a barge. Any area which is a waterway in the U.S. including all ports and docks that are on the coast of the country. Basically if you are working on or near a body of water, you can be considered to be working in Longshore work and you will be covered by this act. It doesn’t matter who you work for necessarily. It’s basically where you were injured is what really counts.
Now, let’s say that you are injured, and you were injured in any given state. This same act holds true and the employee injured on the job is covered under this federal law.
That’s the long shore harbor workers act. And all that simply means that is these insurance companies have to pay you when you’re injured in terms of where you work. The employers you work for know that they have workers that are covered under this act.
This is similar to state worker’s compensation claims but it has different rights and restrictions than do the state workers comp laws have. If you’re not on land when you’re injured, if you’re on a dock, under a bridge, on the side of a ship, working on a river or any body of water, you’re covered by the Longshore Act.
It takes a special niche of lawyer, someone who has experience in this specific area of law, someone who understands the Longshore Act. Garfinkel Schwartz understands the differences between the law and how it differs from other state laws. We work with clients in all 50 states and around the world.
Garfinkel Schwartz, P.A., is located in Cocoa Beach, Florida and in Maitland, Florida, and we’ll travel to visit you wherever you are located. We’re committed to helping one family at a time.