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Longshore Workers' Compensation

LONGSHORE AND HARBORWORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT
AND THE DEFENSE BASE ACT

     Certain workers are protected by two Federal Statutes: the Longshore and Harborworkers Compensation Act (LHWCA) and the Defense Base Act (DBA).

      The LHWCA protects those individuals who work on or near the waterfront in the maritime industry who are not seaman.  Typically workers who are protected under this Act include workers who load and unload vessels as well as those workers who build or repair vessels.  Another group of worker who is protected under LHWCA include are those who work at the stores on military bases such as the commissary at the Naval Air Station. 

      The DBA protects workers who work as contractors (usually for the military) in remote locations.  An example of this type of worker may include a person who operates a drone for the military in the Middle East.  This worker is typically assisting the military in a combat role but are not part of the military. 

      The Statutes mirror each other and the application of both Acts falls under the Department of Labor.  The medical benefits that are provided are identical and the method to calculate the appropriate compensation rate is identical.  Additionally, the case law surrounding the issues that arise under either Act are used in both situations.

      My office has been handling these types of claims for many years and if you have any questions about this type of claim, please do not hesitate to contact my office.