Benefits Under the Longshore Act
Injured workers who meet the requirements to be covered under the Longshore Act are entitled to a set of statutorily defined disability benefits and the payment of his or her medical care in the event of an injury while on the job. The amount and length of time you receive these disability payments will usually depend on the type of injury that the worker suffers and whether it is permanent or only temporary.
If an injured worker has become totally disabled due to a work related injury then they are entitled to receive 2/3’s of their average weekly wages that he or she was earning prior to the injury. A worker’s average weekly wages are calculated by adding up the total amount of wages he or she has earned over the past 52 weeks and then dividing that number by 52. The injured worker will remain entitled to these disability benefits for the full amount of time that he or she is totally disabled, even if the disability is permanent.
If an injury that a worker suffers from only results in a partial disability, such as the loss of a finger, toe, hearing, or vision, the Longshore Act still entitles the worker to the same 2/3’s amount of the worker’s average weekly wages. However, the disabled worker in these instances will only receive their disability benefits for a fixed amount of time. Not all partial disabilities are specifically set out in the Longshore Act. In those instances, the injured worker’s disability payments will be calculated by paying him 2/3’s of his average weekly wages multiplied by the amount of disability rating that a doctor has for the injured worker to now have. Lastly, if a worker only suffers from a temporary partial disability not specifically provided for under the Longshore Act, the disabled worker will be eligible to receive 2/3’s of the difference of the worker’s lost ability to earn wages for a period of up to five years.
An injured worker covered under the Longshore Act is also expressly entitled to have his or her medical services paid for in seeking treatment for the injury or disability. An injured worker is also allowed to seek out their own physician for treatment, unless the physician has been disapproved by the Office of Worker Compensation by the United States Department of Labor. The medical treatment covered under the Longshore Act also includes the necessary physical therapy and rehabilitation. We have many fine qualified longshore attorneys who know the intricacies of the LHWCA.
If you or a loved one was injured anywhere on the Gulf Coast, call our Law Firm with offices in Beaumont, Galveston, Houston, Victoria, Rockport, Corpus Christi, the Valley or San Antonio we are here to help. Call 1.800.862.1260