Frequently Asked Questions
The Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC)
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) was established to offer workers’ compensation and medical care to maritime workers with injuries or occupational diseases sustained on the navigable waters of the United States. The Act also applies to injuries that occur in adjoining areas used in the loading, unloading, repairing and building of vessels. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), Employment Standards Administration and the U. S. Department of Labor administers the DLHWC. The same legislation covers the Defense Base Act and Non-Appropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act employees.
Am I covered under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?
The Act provides for compensation and medical care to employees disabled from injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas used in loading, unloading, repairing, or building certain vessels. The Act also provides benefits to specific survivors and dependents if the injury causes the employee’s death. The term “injury” includes occupational disease arising out of employment.
What is covered?
Longshore provides a number of benefits to injured workers, including medical care to tend to an injury or illness, weekly indemnity benefits to help support your family during your recovery, payments for certain permanent impairments, and vocational rehabilitation services if you cannot return to your previous employment.
How much will I be paid?
Covered disabled employees receive compensation at the rate of 66 2/3 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage, subject to specified weekly maximum and minimum rates, for as long as the effects of the injury continue. Compensation is also available for certain permanent impairments. Benefits are paid to a surviving spouse at the rate of 50 percent of the average weekly wage, and if there are surviving children, an additional 16 2/3 percent is payable on their behalf.
When will I be paid for my lost time from work?
If any installment of compensation payable without an award is not paid within 14 days after it becomes due, an additional 10 percent will be added to the unpaid installment. OWCP may excuse the employer’s failure to pay timely if the employer contacts OWCP and demonstrates that payment could not be made within the prescribed time period due to conditions beyond the employer’s control. If any compensation payable under an award is not paid within 10 days after it becomes due, an additional 20 percent will be added to the unpaid installment.
What is the average weekly wage?
When are benefit payments supposed to be made under the LHWCA?
Benefits are due within 14 days of the filing of a claim unless the employer or its insurer file a notice of controversy. In such cases, the local district office will intervene to help resolve the dispute. If you have neither received your benefits nor a response from the insurance company or employer about your claim, please contact your nearest LHWCA district office.
What can I do if my employer refuses to pay my benefits?
The primary role of the Longshore district offices is to provide dispute resolution assistance to the parties. If you need assistance, please contact the nearest Longshore district office, or contact Doolittle & Tucker, P.A. today.
Where can I get the forms needed to apply for Longshore benefits?
The most commonly used Longshore forms are available on US Department of Labor website. If the form you want is not listed, please contact the closest district office whose locations can also be found on the website.