Basics of the Benefits Available Under the Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act

Medical care under the Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act (LHWCA) includes all medical, surgical and hospital treatment. Medical supplies and services related the employee’s injury and travel and mileage costs related to medical care are also covered.

Disability compensation is paid every two weeks during an employee’s total disability because of a work-related injury. The compensation level depends on the extent to which the employee is disabled. Compensation is available for disabilities that are permanent total, temporary total, permanent partial or temporary partial.

Death benefits include funeral expenses and a percentage of the deceased employee’s wages for the benefit of his or her spouse and children. If other family members — such as parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents and grandchildren — had been dependent on the deceased employee, they may also qualify for death benefits.

The U.S. Department of Labor recommends taking the following steps if you are injured during the course of maritime work:

  • Notify your employer immediately about your injuries.
  • If your injuries require medical treatment, ask your employer for a Form LS-1, which authorizes treatment by a doctor of your choice.
  • Obtain medical treatment as soon as possible.
  • Give your employer written notice of your injury on Form LS-201.
  • File a written claim for compensation within one year of the date of the injury or the date of last payment of compensation, whichever is later.
  • For certain occupational diseases, the time for filing has been increased to two years.
  • Notice of death must be given within 30 days.
  • A claim for survivor benefits must be filed within one year of the employee’s death.

An experienced Florida attorney can provide more information regarding the Longshore and Harbor Worker Compensation Act, along with diligent representation.

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