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Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act provides compensation benefits for maritime workers who are injured or contract an occupation-related illness on the job, regardless of fault.

This law was enacted in 1927 to protect maritime workers who worked on docks and harbors, as well as others not covered by the Jones Act. It also includes specific provisions for family members after a death while on the job, including funeral expenses and future wages.

Some of the workers included under the LHWCA include:

  • Longshoremen and anyone in longshore operations
  • Ship repairers and shipbuilders
  • Harbor construction workers
  • Dock workers
  • Shipbreakers

Worker Benefits

Injuries to longshoremen and harbor workers can carry a heavy financial, physical and emotional cost, but the LHWCA provides protections for injured workers by holding employers legally responsible for the payment of medical benefits and lost wages. Approximately 500,000 maritime workers collect these benefits, according to the Department of Labor. They include:

  • Medical, surgical and hospital services and supplies
  • Disability compensation at the rate of 66.6% of weekly salary for the duration of recovery
  • Compensation for permanent impairment of limbs, hearing loss and loss of earning capacity

This coverage extends to employees regardless of fault and includes compensation for permanent or temporary disability, total or partial disability and rehabilitation. The law also sets a minimum compensation amount, though the actual total is often several times larger than the minimum.

Family Benefits

Families of longshoremen who have died on the job are also entitled to specific benefits under the law including:

  • Funeral expenses are reimbursed up to $3,000
  • A surviving spouse is entitled to 50% of the employee’s weekly wages for life, or until remarriage
  • Dependent children are also entitled to compensation until age 18

Get the Benefits You Deserve

If you are a longshoreman or harbor worker who has suffered an occupational illness or injury, or if such an injury at sea claimed the life of a loved one, you need an attorney at your side who will fight for the fullest compensation the law allows. Contact Avram Blair & Associates today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Super Lawyers

Available 24/7. ​877-506-3347


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