Longshoremen are covered by the Defense Base Act (DBA) to protect against injuries on the job and may be able to recover compensation for time lost from work. The compensation is based off the employee’s earnings during the 52-week period just before the accident.
Four different types of disability compensation are available for injured longshoremen to recover wages lost due to their injury according to the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA).
- Permanent total disability—for those employees who can demonstrate that their illness or injuries keep them from returning to work. At this point the employee is obligated to prove suitable alternate employment, which is any employment the worker could perform given their age, education, background, restrictions and limitations. If such employment cannot be provided, the worker may obtain total disability, otherwise they can obtain permanent partial disability.
- Permanent partial disability—when an employee injures a certain part of their anatomy, such as a hand, foot, leg, or arm. Workers can be compensated for a certain number of weeks depending on how impaired a doctor determines them to be. Injuries to the back or head, known as “non-scheduled” body parts, can receive two-thirds of the difference between the pre-accident average weekly wage and the current earning capacity which can continue indefinitely.
- Temporary total disability—pay for any disability which totally inhibits you for two-thirds of what is earned on an average week. This applied to employees whose doctor places them on a “no work” status. Employees can receive benefits until a doctor places them at maximum medical improvement or returns them to regular or light duty.
- Temporary partial disability—when doctors allow employees to return to limited work. If no such limited or light work is available, workers can recover two-thirds of their average weekly wage; otherwise, they can be paid at two-thirds of the difference between the pre-accident average weekly wage and their current earnings. Such disability may be received for five years.
You need to speak with a trusted workplace injury attorney if you are a longshoreman hurt on the job. Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A. can manage your claim and recover needed compensation.