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What is the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act is law that covers employees in eligible positions that work on or near the waterways of the country. Specifically, the Act is meant to provide workers' compensation coverage for workers who work with or on ships.

The Act covers shipbreakers, shipbuilders, ship repairers, harbor workers, longshore workers and others who are employed in maritime industries. Employees who are also covered separately by a state's compensation laws are excluded under the act if they also work in office, service or retail positions, are the members of a crew of a boat or vessel or provide service and repairs for recreational boating vessels.

The Act requires employers of eligible workers to purchase appropriate policies to cover payments for loss of wages and medical expenses should an accident or injury occur while the worker is on the job. The Act also requires survival benefits coverage that would take effect if an employee passed away because of such injuries; those benefits would be paid to the employee's surviving spouse or children.

When working in specific industries, it is important to know what laws are in place to protect your rights and ensure you receive appropriate compensation if you are injured on the job. If you are injured in a work-related accident, no matter what type of job you have, and you are not sure that you are receiving appropriate benefits, it might be worth discussing your case with an attorney. You don't need to prove liability on the part of an employer or other to receive workers' compensation, but you might need to prove that the damages are associated with a work-related incident.

Source: Society for Human Resource Management, "Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA)," accessed March 04, 2016

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