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Who Is Covered under the LHWCA?

Many maritime workers who are injured in workplace accidents may not meet the criteria for seamen under the Jones Act. However, they may be eligible for benefits under a separate set of maritime laws called the Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act.

The LHWCA applies to maritime workers who are engaged in maritime occupations, but do not meet Jones Act criteria. This can include people who work as longshoremen, dock workers, and other workers. Workers, who are engaged in shipbuilding, and ship repair activities may be included under the LHWCA.  Stevedores, workers engaged in loading and unloading operations, crane operators, truck drivers and other workers may also be eligible for benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.

The LHWCA does not apply to any crew member of any vessel, or the master of a vessel. The LHWCA also does not apply to any worker who has been employed to conduct loading and unloading activities or repair activities on any vessel that is below 18 tons net.

There are certain employees on a shipyard or harbor who may not be eligible for benefits.  Employees engaged in clerical or secretarial work in a harbor or shipyard may not be eligible as LHWCA workers. Workers engaged in data processing work or security work, or those employed by the marina but not involved in the construction, replacement or expansion of the marina, are also excluded from the Act.

Besides, a worker who has been employed by a subcontractor, supplier, transporter, or vendor may also not be eligible under the Act. Temporary workers in a harbor or shipyard, who sustain injuries, are not eligible for LHWCA benefits. These workers may be eligible for Worker’s Compensation benefits.

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