Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides benefits to employees disabled due to an injury incurred while working on the navigable waters or the adjoining areas of the United States. It was enacted in response to the gap that existed in state Workers’ Compensation systems. Prior to the passing of the Act, state statutes did not address maritime workers and courts were hesitant to overstep their jurisdiction by awarding benefits to employees injured in maritime accidents.

The LHWCA generally covers employees in traditional maritime occupations, however several LHWCA Extensions provide coverage for those in other types of employment as well. The South Jersey longshore and harbor Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. have extensive experience handling LHWCA claims and are committed to helping injured workers or their dependents collect compensation for injuries or deaths occurring on the navigable waters of the U.S.

Who Is Covered Under the LHWCA?

The LHWCA covers maritime employees such as longshore workers, ship-repairers, shipbuilders, ship-breakers and harbor construction workers who are injured on the navigable waters of the U.S. or its adjoining areas typically used in the loading, unloading, repairing or building of a vessel. Non-maritime workers may also be covered if their work is performed, and their injuries occurred, on navigable waters.

The LHWCA excludes seamen, employees of the U.S. government, employees whose injuries were caused by their own intoxication or by their willful intention to harm themselves or others. Also excluded are employees who are otherwise covered by state Workers’ Compensation law such as clerical workers, marina workers, or security personnel.

LHWCA Extensions

There are three extensions to the LHWCA that provide coverage to workers in other types of employment:

  • Defense Base Act (DBA) – Generally, covers workers who contracted with a U.S. government agency, who were employed by the U.S. for military purposes, who worked on contracts approved and funded by the Foreign Assistance Act, or who provided welfare-related services outside the U.S. for the benefit of the Armed Services.
  • Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) – Provides coverage to employees working on the Outer Continental Shelf.
  • Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NAFIA) – Covers civilian employees of non-appropriated fund instrumentalities of the Armed Forces.

LHWCA Benefits

Employers must pay for the medical care, disability compensation, and vocational rehabilitation services of workers covered under the LHWCA regardless of who was at fault for the injury. Compensation is available for workers who suffered physical injuries, aggravation of a pre-existing injury, or occupational disease. In the event of a fatality, the deceased worker’s dependents may also be entitled to reasonable funeral expenses and compensation payments.

South Jersey Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Maritime Workers Recover Compensation for Their Injuries

If you were injured while working on the navigable waters of the U.S. or your loved one’s injury or illness led to their death, you may be entitled to benefits under the LHWCA. The experienced South Jersey longshore and harbor Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. can help you file your claim. We represent workers in Philadelphia, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Southern and Central New Jersey. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 888-999-1962.