Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act Recoveries

How Much Compensation Does the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Provide?

Paul Hofmann
Specializes in personal injury, with emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims

You’ve been hurt on the job and you are entitled to compensation pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, but what does that mean? How much will this law allow you to recover for your injury?

Not Everyone Get the Same Compensation

Your unique compensation pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act is going to depend on:

  • The amount of your pay prior to your injury. This is also known as your average weekly wages. Typically, to determine your average weekly wages your total annual pay will be divided by 52.
  • Whether you are totally or partially disabled by your injury. A total disability means that you can’t do any work and a partial disability means that you can’t do the work that you did prior to your injury, but you may be able to do some work.
  • Whether you are temporarily or permanently disabled by your injury. A temporary disability is an injury from which you are still recovering. A permanent disability means that your condition is stable, that you’ve made the maximum medical improvement, and that you are still disabled.

Here’s what you may receive if you are

  • Temporarily totally disabled: Compensation is typically two thirds of your average weekly wage.
  • Temporarily partially disabled: Compensation is typically two thirds of your loss of earning capacity which is calculated by subtracting the amount of money you can earn from the average weekly wage you earned prior to your injury.
  • Permanently partially disabled: For disabilities impacting specific body parts described in the law such as the arm, hand, fingers, leg, foot, toes, ears or eyes you will receive payment for a specific number of weeks. For other disabilities, also known as “unscheduled” disabilities, you will typically recover two thirds of your loss of earning capacity. These payments may continue for as long as your disability continues, but are not subject to annual increases based on the national average weekly wage.
  • Permanently totally disabled: Compensation is typically two thirds of your average weekly wage

Additionally, the law has established minimum and maximum amounts that you may receive, regardless of the amount you earned prior to your injury and regardless of your type of injury. You may receive no more than 200% of the national average weekly wage and no less than 50% of the national average weekly wage each week. The national average weekly wage changes annually on October 1. On October 1, 2014, the Department of Labor established the national average weekly wage as $688.51 making the maximum that you can recover $1,377.02 and the minimum that you can recover $344.26 until the rates are reset on October 1, 2015.

Any injury can significantly impact your ability to work and support yourself. Accordingly, it is important to know what the law may allow you to recover and to fight hard for your fair and just recovery.