Ship Receiving Various Repairs While DockedThe Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal workers’ compensation law that provides benefits to some maritime workers who are hurt on the job. In order to qualify for LHWCA benefits, an injured maritime worker must meet the specific eligibility requirements of the law.

Where Were You Injured?

The situs test involves where you were when you suffered your injuries. When the LHWCA originally became law in 1927, it only applied to maritime workers who were hurt on boats that were on navigable waters. Over the years, this definition was found to be too limiting. It excluded maritime workers who were on land but who were working on building, fixing, loading, or unloading vessels.

Today, the LHWCA applies to maritime workers who are hurt on, near, or adjacent to navigable waters. It includes people who are on:

  • Vessels, but are not considered seamen pursuant to the Jones Act
  • Piers
  • Wharves
  • Drydocks
  • Oil rigs
  • Natural gas drilling platforms
  • Marine railways
  • Terminals
  • Building ways

Maritime workers who are far from the water will, therefore, not be eligible for LHWCA benefits because of the situs test.

The Situs Test Is Just One LHWCA Requirement

You may meet the requirements of the situs test, but to qualify for LHWCA benefits, you are also going to have to meet the status test. If you satisfy the requirements of both the situs test and the status test, then you may be able to receive compensation for a good portion of your income and compensation for all of your injury-related medical expenses.

To learn more about your rights and about whether you may qualify for LHWCA compensation, please contact the experienced longshoreman injury lawyers of Hofmann & Schweitzer today. You have a very short amount of time to file an LHWCA claim, and you don’t want to miss the deadline. Call us or reach out to us via this website today to schedule your free initial consultation.


Paul T. Hofmann
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Focused on personal injury, with an emphasis on maritime, railroad and construction worker tort claims.