What is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and What are the Benefits it Offers?

The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation (LHWC) Act is a federal regulation that offers protection to certain maritime employees. The act covers harbor workers, longshoremen, and most other people who work in shipyards or shipping terminals. If you fall into one of these categories, our longshoremen & maritime employee workers’ compensation lawyers in Los Angeles can help you with your unique claim today.

Below, you will learn about the LHWC Act and the benefits it offers to maritime workers.

An Overview the LHWC Act

The LHWC Act is a federal law that was enacted in 1927. The act covers maritime workers, including people who load and unload ships, dock workers, and those who haul containers away from the docks. At the time of the enactment, it only provided protection to workers injured on navigable waters in the US. However, later the coverage was extended to workers who work on the docks, government contractors who work in foreign bases and non-apportioned fund employees.

The benefits that are available under the LHWC to workers include the following:

  • Permanent disability benefit
  • Medical treatment benefit
  • Loss of wages benefit
  • Vocational benefits

An injured worker can claim compensation for all reasonable medical expenses incurred in treating an injury incurred at the workplace. This includes transport cost from traveling to and from the medical facility.
In addition, if the injury sustained at the workplace is of the manner that returning to the previous line of work is not possible, the employer is required to provide rehabilitation benefits to the worker.

Who is Covered Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

As stated in the Act: “The LHWCA covers employees in traditional maritime occupations such as longshore workers, ship-repairers, shipbuilders or ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers. The injuries must occur on the navigable waters of the United States or in the adjoining areas, including piers, docks, terminals, wharves, and those areas used in loading and unloading vessels. Non-maritime employees may also be covered if they perform their work on navigable water and their injuries occur there.”

Limitations of the LHWC Act

A lot of limitations apply regarding the LHWC act. It is not applicable for injuries sustained in small vessels that are less than 18 tons. This is even the case when the occupation is eligible for compensation.There are always exceptions to regulations and laws, which is why it’s critical that you contact an attorney who’s familiar with this law and how it may impact your claim.

Also, you should note that the act does not apply in case workers were engaged in repair of recreational ships. This applies when the recreational vessels covered under a workers’ compensation law in the state.
Lastly, LHWC Act does not cover workers employed in aquaculture, including those who are engaged in harvesting and cultivating aquatic animals and plants. This is applicable even if they were on navigable waterways when the injury occurred.

However, not all employees are covered under the LHWC Act. Only certain employees are available for worker’s compensation under the act. You should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to learn more about the exact coverage details pertaining to LHWC Act.

If you are a shipping yard employee, or work on a shipping vessel we can help you regarding a workers’ compensation involving a maritime employment accident, our experienced lawyers in Los Angeles will guide you on how to get the required compensation for workplace injuries.