Frequently Asked Questions

workers compensation insurance frequently asked questions 1. What is the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (“LHWCA”) is a federal law that provides for the payment of compensation, medical care, and vocational rehabilitation services to employees workers disabled from injuries on the job and that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or building of a vessel. The LHWCA also provides provides the payment of survivor benefits to dependents if the a work injury cause, or contributes to, the employee’s death. These benefits are typically paid by the self-insured employer or by a private insurance company on the employer’s behalf. The term “injury” includes occupational diseases, hearing loss and illnesses arising out of employment.

2. Who is covered by the LHWCA?
The LHWCA covers employees in traditional maritime occupation s such as longshore workers, ship-repairers , shipbuilders or ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers . His/her injuries must occur on the navigable waters of the United States or in the adjoining areas, including piers, docks, terminals, wharves, and those areas used in loading and unloading vessels. Non-maritime employees may also be covered if they perform their work on navigable water and their injuries occur there.

3. Who is excluded from the LHWCA?
The LHWCA specifically excludes the following individuals:
-Seamen (masters or members of a crew of any vessel)
-Employees of the United States government or of any state or foreign government
-Employees whose injuries were caused solely by their intoxication
-Employees whose injuries were due to their own willful intention to harm themselves or others.

The LHWCA also excludes the following individuals if they are covered by a state workers’ compensation law
-Individuals employed exclusively to perform office clerical, secretarial, security, or data processing work
-Individuals employed by a club, camp, recreational operation, restaurant, museum, or retail outlet
-Individuals employed by a marina and who are not engaged in construction, replacement, or expansion of such marina (except for routine maintenance)
-Individuals who (A) are employed by suppliers, transporters, or vendors, (B) are temporarily doing  business on the premises of a maritime employer, and (C) are not engaged in work normally performed by employees of that employer covered under the Act
-Aquaculture workers;-Individuals employed to build any recreational vessel under sixty-five feet in length, or individuals employed to repair any recreational vessel or dismantle any part of a recreational vessel in connection with such repair
-Small vessel workers if exempt by certification of the Secretary of Labor under certain conditions.

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