Your frustration over not being able to work following a maritime accident is understandable. Yet that frustration may be secondary to the struggles you encounter trying to live off your daily stipend in Mahattan. The rights afforded to you under the Jones Act include maintenance and cure benefits. Per the Cornell Law School, maintenance is the daily stipend you receive to help cover your living expenses. Many in your same situation find that it is not enough to support themselves and their families, and thus come to us here at Tabak Mellusi & Shisha LLP wondering what other types of compensation they might be entitled to.
Like many of them, you may be considering applying for unemployment benefits to supplement your daily stipend. This could ultimate prove to be damaging to your case for receiving those benefits entitled to you through the Jones Act. When you apply for Jones Act benefits, you are essentially saying that your injury or illness is keeping you from working. When you seek unemployment, on the other hand, the implication is that you can work, yet you do not have a job. These two claims may be viewed as contradictory, and could give your employer cause to terminate your maintenance and cure benefits altogether.
So what are you to do, then, if your daily stipend is not enough. The stipend is simply a flat rate that was arbitrarily determined by whomever negotiated your benefit package. Yet you may not know that the Jones Acy also requires that you be paid your wages while you are away recovering. If your employer was at fault in your accident, you may want to consider a liability claim. More information on your rights following a maritime accident can be found here on our site.