Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act

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How are Claims Made Under the LHWCA?

An employee who is injured on the job must file notice of injury to the employer within 30 days of the injury. The employee must give notice to the employer even when the employee develops a disabling condition or illness that is work related. A formal Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act claim for benefits must be filed with the Department of Labor within one year from the date of injury. An employer can dispute the claim or begin voluntary payment within fourteen days of the accident. If an employer disputes the claim there is a conciliation procedure designed to help the parties come to an agreement. If the parties cannot resolve the problem, an administrative law judge (ALJ) working for the Department will conduct a hearing and render a decision.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act also allows an injured worker to sue persons or entities, other than the employer or a co-worker, whom the worker believes to be at fault for his or her injuries. The worker is not permitted to allege a claim of unseaworthiness, because that claim is reserved to seamen.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act covers injuries that occur during maritime employment on navigable waters of the United States. Maritime employment includes the loading/unloading vessels, repairing vessels and building a vessel. Navigable waters include places beyond where a boat could float - places on land that adjoin water, areas near a pier or wharf, areas for loading, unloading, repairing, or building vessels.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is applicable to employers who employ workers for maritime work or in a maritime occupation, either full or part-time, on the navigable waters of the United States or in adjoining waterfront areas. It covers employees engaged in maritime work or in maritime occupation including longshoreman or longshoring operations and any harbor worker, including a ship-repairman, ship-builder and ship-breaker.

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act does not cover the following persons if they are covered by a state workers' compensation law:

The Act also does not cover the following persons:

Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA)

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