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Who isn't covered by the LHWCA?

Like any injury compensation system, the system set up by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act has various eligibility rules. Among these rules are rules limiting who is covered under the act. Today we will talk about what workers do not qualify for coverage under the act.

First of all, a worker is not covered by the LHWCA if they are not engaged in maritime occupation/work.

However, not all maritime workers are eligible for coverage. Certain workers are outright excluded from coverage by the act. These workers are: state employees, federal employees, employees of foreign governments, vessel crew members, vessel masters and individuals involved in the repairing/unloading/loading of vessels below a certain weight as a result of being engaged to do so by a master.

Also, the act excludes certain workers from LHWCA coverage if they qualify for workers’ comp coverage under the workers' comp system of the applicable state. These workers include: aquaculture employees, workers who dismantle/repair/build recreational vessels under a certain length, retail outlet employees, museum employees, camp employees, restaurant employees, club employees, recreational operation employees, certain marina workers, certain small vessel workers and workers exclusively employed for office clerical/security/secretarial/data-processing work.

Now, a maritime worker being excluded from LHWCA coverage does not mean the worker has no compensation-seeking options following suffering a workplace injury. They may qualify for state workers' compensation or they may be eligible to take certain other legal actions, like making a Jones Act claim. Experienced attorneys can help injured maritime workers understand what specific compensation-pursuing options they have given their particular job position and other aspects of their particular situation.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, "Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC) - Pamphlet LS-560," Accessed March 3, 2016

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