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How do I file a claim for benefits under the LHWCA?
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Port and Dock Workers Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides compensation to workers injured while working on navigable waters or in certain other marine-related jobs. If you were injured while working in one of these covered occupations, you may be entitled to benefits under the LHWCA. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you understand the process of filing a claim for benefits under the LHWCA:

How do I file a claim for benefits under the LHWCA?

1. Determine Your Eligibility:

To be eligible for benefits under the LHWCA, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Employment Coverage: You must be an employee involved in maritime employment, such as a long-haul worker, dock worker, shipbuilder or ship repairer.
  • Injury or illness: You must have suffered an injury or illness arising from and in the course of your employment.
  • Navigable waters: The injury or illness must have occurred in navigable waters of the United States or in an area adjacent to navigable waters.
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2. Report Your Injury or Illness:

Report your injury or illness to your employer immediately. You must provide your employer with written notice that includes the following information:

  • Your name, address and contact information
  • The date, time and location of the injury or illness
  • A description of the injury or illness
  • The name and address of any witnesses

3. Seek Medical Care:

Seek medical attention as soon as possible after your injury or illness. Keep all medical records and receipts related to your injury or illness. These records will be essential to support your claim for benefits.

4. Fill Out A Claim Form:

To file a claim for benefits under the LHWCA, you must submit Form LS-1, “Employee Compensation Claim.” You can obtain this form from the U.S. Department of Labor website or from your employer. The form requires detailed information about your injury or illness, your employment and your medical history.

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5. Submit Supporting Documentation:

Along with the claim form, you must submit supporting documentation, including:

  • A copy of your medical records and receipts
  • A copy of your employment records, such as pay stubs or W-2 forms
  • A statement from your employer acknowledging the injury or illness
  • Any other relevant documentation that supports your claim
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6. Register Your Claim:

After completing the claim form and gathering the necessary supporting documentation, you must file your claim with the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP). You can file your claim online, by mail, or in person at a local OWCP office.

7. Attend a Hearing (if Necessary):

If your claim is denied or there is a dispute over the amount of benefits you are entitled to, you may be required to attend a hearing before an administrative law judge. The hearing will give you the opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of your claim.

8. Receive Benefits:

If your claim is approved, you will begin receiving benefits. The type and amount of benefits you receive will depend on the nature of your injury or illness and your earning capacity.

Filing a claim for benefits under the LHWCA can be a complex process, but it is essential that injured workers understand their rights and seek the compensation they deserve. By following these steps and seeking guidance from legal professionals if necessary, you can increase your chances of a successful claim and ensure that you receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

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How do I file a claim for benefits under the LHWCA?

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