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Who can rely on the Jones Act at work?

If you're working on the water, you may be concerned about the lack of security for your situation compared to dry land. Fortunately, most workers at sea do not have to worry about a lack of workers' compensation benefits if they are injured. The Jones Act often picks up where state labor laws drop off.

  • Who is covered by the Jones Act?

People defined as seamen under the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, as the Jones Act is officially known in U.S. law, may apply for benefits similar to workers' compensation in other jobs. This definition covers the captains and crews of U.S. ships, including full-time maritime employees and people who spend 30% of more of their time working on a boat or ship.

  • How do people apply for these benefits?

The first move after an injury at work is always to seek professional medical help. This may be done at the same time as informing the captain of the vessel where an injury or illness happened, but that move should also be made as soon as possible after an incident.

  • What other requirements exist?

This depends on the vessel or its operator. Some companies or individuals may have other requirements, especially if it means filing a claim with a workers' compensation insurance provider.

  • Who can help with a Jones Act claim?

Just like professional medical assistance may be required, some claimants are comforted by professional legal assistance. An attorney can help create the right claim for approval under the Jones Act or appeal the rejection of a seaman's claim.

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