When the average worker gets hurt on the job, a basic workers’ compensation claim is all they need to handle. However, those who work in certain industries, like fishing or transportation, may not work all of the time in one state.
If an injury does not clearly occur in one state and therefore under the jurisdiction of its workers’ compensation program, an employee coping with a job injury could have a hard time getting the benefits that they need.
The federal government helps protect against these kinds of coverage gaps and claim complications. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) allows workers who get injured at work to claim the same kinds of benefits that standard workers’ compensation offers. Those benefits include medical coverage, financial compensation and even vocational rehabilitation services. Who qualifies to make a claim under the LHWCA?
Maritime and harbor workers have protection under the LHWCA
If someone’s job takes them out onto the open ocean, the injuries they suffered at work won’t be eligible for standard workers’ compensation coverage. Someone who works out on the ocean or on the country’s navigable waterways may not have the protection of standard workers’ compensation coverage despite working in a dangerous profession. Even those who technically work terrestrial jobs at a harbor or on a dock may find themselves struggling to get compensation after a work injury.
The LHWCA applies to those who work out on the navigable waterways of the United States, including the Mississippi River. Those who help build or repair ships or who load them may qualify for compensation under the LHWCA if they do not qualify for typical workers’ compensation benefits.
An LHWCA claim can be difficult to handle alone
Many injured workers bring in professional help even for standard workers’ compensation claims. Managing the bureaucratic red tape and understanding the value of a claim can be hard for someone coping with their first-ever injury on the job.
Trying to get compensation through a more complex program as a maritime worker can be even more difficult. Workers who need benefits to support their families may realize that having help with the process will speed things up and improve their chances of success. Learning more about the workers’ compensation laws that protect harbor workers and maritime employees will help protect those who work in dangerous professions. Contact attorney Steven Morgan by phone (912-289-0640) or email to learn about how he can assist.