Workers’ compensation can be a complicated topic and, if you’ve been injured at work, you’ll likely have a lot of questions. Things get even more complex for those who work in or around New York’s harbors. Who covers your injuries?
What is the LHWCA?
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal workers’ compensation program. It shares many characteristics with New York’s workers’ compensation laws, including paying for medical care and rehabilitation for employees who are injured on the job. Occupational diseases and illnesses, caused by the employee’s work, are covered as well. In the unfortunate event that an employee is killed as the result of a workplace accident, it also provides for survivor’s benefits.
Who does the LHWCA cover?
The LHWCA covers private employees who work in traditional maritime jobs. Those jobs must occur in or around the navigable waters of the United States. Longshoremen, ship builders and dock workers are some of the common examples of those covered by the Act. It’s important to note, however, that the LHWCA excludes certain employees from coverage when their state also covers them. If an employee exclusively performs clerical or security work in a New York harbor facility, for instance, they may not be covered by the LHWCA.
The idea of concurrent coverage is a significant complicating factor for employees. New York permits workers to be covered by both the LHWCA and state workers’ compensation laws. As a result, it can be confusing as to which one an employee should use – or if they should use both. If you have suffered an injury at work and believe you may fall under the LHWCA, speak with an experienced professional. Their knowledge will help you make an informed decision and ensure that your rights are protected.