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Understand the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

If you’re not familiar with the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), you should know that it is a federal law that makes sure that employees hurt on the navigable waters of the U.S. are able to obtain medical care, compensation and vocational rehabilitation. This law also covers those who are working in areas used for the unloading, loading, building or repairing of a vessel.

This act is vital for surviving widows and widowers, as it provides survivor benefits to dependents when the work they were doing contributed to or caused their loved one’s death. Injuries covered by the act include occupational illnesses, hearing loss and diseases as well as physical injuries.

Are there any people who would be excluded from the LHWCA?

Potentially. A claim may be denied if an employee’s injuries were:

  • Caused because of their intoxication
  • Were intentional
  • Caused to a seaman
  • Caused to employees of the U.S. government, a state government or a foreign government

If someone is covered by a state workers’ compensation law, they may also not be covered by the LHWCA, which is why it’s a good idea to get into touch with your attorney if you have questions about which policy you’d fall under after getting hurt at work.

Does the LHWCA cover crew members?

No, the master or member of a crew will not be covered by the LHWCA, as they are covered by the Jones Act instead.

You may have questions about how these laws apply to you. If you do, our website has more information that may help you understand the laws and get more help.