Demystifying ILA Benefits for Longshore Workers and the Impact of Workers Compensation Claims

Demystifying ILA Benefits for Longshore Workers and the Impact of Workers Compensation Claims

Longshore Workers and the ILA.
Founded in 1892, the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA) is a labor union that represents Longshore workers from approximately 200 local affiliates in port cities throughout the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. In fact, one of those local affiliates, the ILA Local 1408, shares the same port city of Jacksonville, Florida with Doolittle & Tucker, P.A. With more than 65,000 hard-working professionals, the ILA provides many benefits and programs that protect its members. Oftentimes, the answers to some important questions regarding these specific benefits can be extremely confusing or even elusive.

In this 3-part ILA Benefits series, the Longshore attorneys at Doolittle & Tucker, P.A., experts on the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and Defense Base Act, are here to clarify the impact of workers’ compensation on the eligibility requirements for the most prominent ILA plans: the ILA Welfare Fund, the ILA Vacation & Holiday Fund, and the MILA Managed Health Care Trust Fund.

Part 1. The ILA Welfare Fund.

Benefits for Active Employees Under the ILA Welfare Fund.
The HRSA-ILA Welfare Fund provides disability benefits and life insurance benefits to active employees and retirees in the Longshore Industry.

As an active employee, you may qualify for coverage under the ILA Welfare Fund if you are:

  • covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement between an employer-member and the ILA or affiliated local, or
  • of an ILA Local or the HRSA-ILA covered by a Participation Agreement, plus
  • you work or receive credit for 1000 hours of service during the most recently ended contract year (the period beginning on October 1 and ending the next September 30).

How are Hours Calculated for Eligibility Under the ILA Welfare Fund?  
When it comes to the ILA Welfare Fund, eligibility is determined by credits or qualifying hours. Longshore workers receive credit for an hour of service for each hour paid while working for participating employers in the Longshore Industry. Hours paid at time-and-a-half or double-time count only as one hour. Under some circumstances, Longshore workers may receive credit towards the minimum eligibility level for the time they are unable to work. In the case of a work injury, credit hours will likely be granted.

How Does Workers’ Compensation Impact Eligibility Under the ILA Welfare Fund?
Longshore workers who sustain work-related injuries and receive temporary total disability workers’ compensation benefits (TTD) or temporary partial disability workers’ compensation benefits (TPD) shall receive pro rata credit for the time they miss from work in order to count toward the Welfare Fund eligibility. The number of credits one will receive is based upon the level of benefits for which theLongshore worker qualified in the year before the accident. In most cases, a Longshore form LS-208 Notice of Final Payment form is submitted to show the amount of time an injured Longshore worker misses from work in order to receive credit hours.

Additional Benefits Available Under the ILA Welfare Fund.
The ILA Welfare Fund also provides coverage for retirees, spouses, and surviving spouses in cases of death of a Longshore worker. Additional benefits under the ILA Welfare Fund include:

  • Short-term/long-term disability insurance to active employees that are unable to work due to sickness or non-work-related injuries
  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Subrogation and Reimbursement Rights of the ILA Welfare Fund for Workers Compensation Claims.
Any benefits paid by the Fund as a result of a work-related incident are recoverable by the Fund in the form of a lien on any benefits or money an injured Longshore worker may receive as a result of a workers’ compensation claim. An injured Longshore worker must notify the Fund and/or reimburse it within seven (7) days after recovery of any sum. Failure to do so may result in disqualification for future eligibility under the Fund for the injured Longshore worker and family.

To learn more detailed information regarding a Longshore workers’ compensation claim and the impact on eligibility under the ILA Welfare Fund, contact Doolittle & Tucker, P.A. via their website at www.pauldoolittlelaw.com or call their office at 904-396-1734.

Have you accrued enough credits for vacation & holiday pay? In Part 2 of our series, we will explain the benefits and eligibility requirements under the ILA Vacation & Holiday Fund.