Like most people in New York, you have likely heard references to workers' compensation. This is a special type of benefit that can provide financial benefits to people who experience injuries on on the job or perhaps who develop work-related illnesses. If you are one of the many people who works on a boat, ship or in some related areas, you may have access to benefits like these but you would not be covered under standard workers' compensation laws. Instead, your benefits would be pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.
As explained by the United States Department of Labor, the LHWCA essentially acts as the workers' compensation program for maritime employees. Certainly an injury that results from some type of incident on a job site is one of the first things that people think of when they consider the need for these benefits. However, the LHWCA may provide payments for people who have qualifiying occupational diseases or who have contracted illnesses connected to their maritime employment.
In addition to covering people who work directly boats, ships or other water vessels, the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act may also provide benefits to people who perform work on docks or wharfs or in shipbuilding yards and other locations related to water vessels.
If you would like to learn more about the types of incidents that are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, please feel free to visit the injured seaman's employee page of our New York maritime workers' website.