Understanding workers’ compensation in the Longshore Act
Many people who work in Georgia and other coastal states are employed in the maritime industry. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or LHWCA, is a federal law that provides medical and other benefits to maritime workers. Understanding what these benefits are is imperative for all coastal workers.
Who is covered by this legislation?
The Longshore Act covers harbor workers, longshore workers and other maritime employees. Not only does it cover those who load ships, but it covers the truck drivers who haul shipping containers to the shipping docks. It’s a good idea to consult a Longshore workers’ compensation attorney to determine whether or not your job is covered by this legislation.
What benefits does it offer?
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act offers both permanent and temporary benefits to injured workers with disabilities. The benefits include lost wages, medical treatments, travel fees to get medical treatment and even job retraining. Surviving spouses of covered maritime employees who were killed on the job can also receive benefits under the LHWCA.
While all non-federal employers are required to maintain a workers’ compensation insurance policy by their state, the LHWCA is a different type of policy. Those injured workers who are eligible for LHWCA benefits should opt for taking them over state workers’ compensation benefits. This is because LHWCA benefits tend to be more generous than regular workers’ compensation benefits. For example, most states offer injured employees 60% of their weekly pay for temporary benefits. The LHWCA offers the same employees 75% of their weekly pay.
The Longshore Act is one that every maritime employee should know about. This legislation provides helpful benefits for those who qualify. If you work in the maritime industry and have been injured on the job, you should consider consulting an attorney about filing for your LHWCA benefits.