When you are unable to work as a result of an injury, if you are like most people, you need to find some other way to pay your bills. Your savings will only go but so far, and you’d really rather not spend it on your everyday expenses. So, you start looking for answers, and you find out that you are eligible under the Jones Act to claim “maintenance and cure.” At first, you are relieved. But, then your employer tells you that it won’t cover all of your medical expenses, and you are told that your “maintenance” benefits will only be around $15 to $40 per day. That isn’t even enough to cover the cost of food for your family, let alone your utilities, rent or mortgage, and the costs of your prescriptions and medical care. What can you do? Understanding Your Right to Maintenance and Cure Most maritime employers want to pay as little for their employees’ on-the-job injuries as possible. As a result, some of them will withhold or misrepresent information about employees’ right to medical coverage, and they pay the absolute minimum maintenance daily wage rate that they can get away with under the law. While employees are entitled to full medical coverage for their job-related injuries (for treatment provided by their own doctors), unfortunately, daily maintenance benefits typically are quite low – in the $15 to $40 per day range mentioned above. If your employer is refusing to cover your medical expenses, you may need […]
The Jones Act is a federal law that governs the liability of vessel operators and marine employers for work-related injuries or the death of an employee.