Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act
Maritime Law Overview
Seaman's Information Regarding Maritime Injury
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Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, an injured employee is eligible for compensation at the rate of 66 2/3 percent of the employee's average weekly wage, subject to the specified maximum in effect at the time of injury, for as long as the effects of the injury continue.
The maximum compensation under the Act is 200 percent of the current national average weekly wage as determined by Secretary of Labor, applicable at the time of injury, or the employee's full average weekly wage, whichever is less. The Department of Labor lists the current benefit levels at www.dol.gov.
If the injury results in permanent disability, the injured employee is eligible for compensation of 66 2/3 per cent of the average weekly wages and is paid to the employee during the continuance of such total disability. Generally, loss of both hands, or both arms, or both feet, or both legs or both eyes, or of any two thereof is considered permanent total disability. In all other cases permanent total disability is determined depending on the facts.
Compensation for death of the employee is known as death benefits. Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, in case of death of an employee, the employer must pay reasonable funeral expenses not exceeding $ 3,000.
If the employee is survived by a widow or widower, the widow or widower receives 50% of the average weekly wage of the deceased employee for life or until remarriage. Additional compensation of 16 2/ percent of the employee's weekly wages is payable for one or more children. If children are the sole survivors, 50% of the employee's average weekly wage is paid on behalf of the first child. Where more than one child is entitled to benefits, each child is eligible for equal share of the benefits.
In case of the death or remarriage of such widow or widower, and there is one surviving child of the employee, the compensation for such shall increase to 50 per centum of such wages, and if there be more than one surviving child, to such children, in equal parts, 50 per centum of such wages increased by 16 2/3 per centum of such wages for each child in excess of one.
Upon remarriage, a widow or widower receives a lump sum payment of compensation covering two years. Benefit payments to children, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren terminate when they reach 18, but may be extended to age 23 if the child or beneficiary is a student. Payments may continue indefinitely if a child remains incapable of self-support due to mental or physical disabilities.
The total amount payable will in no case exceed 66 2/3 per cent of the wages.
In computing death benefits, the average weekly wage of the deceased is considered to have been not less than the national average weekly wage effective at the time of the employee's death. The total amount of survivor benefits payable in death cases may not exceed the average weekly wage of the deceased or 200% of the national average weekly wage, whichever is less.