What Benefits are Available to Port, Terminal and Dock Workers in PA?

Maritime Injuries Mar 31, 2021

If you were injured working at a port, terminal or dock in Pennsylvania, you may be eligible for benefits under the Longshoreman & Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA). The LHWCA is a federal law that applies specifically to individuals employed in maritime occupations who do not work offshore or onboard vessels in navigation. A maritime accident lawyer can determine if you are eligible for benefits under the LHWCA; and, if you are, your lawyer can help you apply for maximum benefits.

Benefits Available to Port, Terminal and Dock Workers Under the LHWCA

Under the LHWCA, injured port, terminal and dock workers in Pennsylvania can receive three main types of benefits:

1. Medical Benefits

The LHWCA provides access to medical benefits that cover, “reasonable and necessary medical, surgical, and hospital treatment and other medical supplies and services required by [a] work-related injury or illness.” You are entitled to receive treatment from a doctor of your choosing, and you are entitled to receive medical benefits until you fully recover or reach your maximum medical improvement.

2. Disability Benefits

Disability benefits cover your loss of income if you are unable to work for more than three days as a result of your injury. Depending upon the extent of your injury, you may be eligible to receive:

  • Temporary total disability benefits
  • Temporary partial disability benefits
  • Permanent total disability benefits
  • Permanent partial disability benefits

For most workers, disability benefits are calculated as two thirds of their weekly wage. However, this figure can be adjusted either upward or downward depending on how much you earn.

3. Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

If your injury leaves you unable to work in your prior job, then you can also seek vocational rehabilitation benefits under the LHWCA. These benefits allow you to receive training in another suitable occupation.

What if I Don’t Qualify to File a Claim Under the LHWCA?

If you work at a port, terminal or dock in Pennsylvania and you do not qualify for benefits under the LHWCA, then you most likely qualify for benefits under another statute. This could be Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law (if you work in a land-based occupation), or it could be the Jones Act (if you work onboard a vessel “in navigation”).

If you qualify to file a claim under the Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation law, then the benefits you are eligible to receive will be similar to those available under the LHWCA. However, state workers’ compensation benefits are calculated differently. If you qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act, then the type(s) of claim(s) you can file will depend on how and why you got injured. You might be limited to seeking no-fault “maintenance and cure” benefits, or you might be eligible for full compensation based on unseaworthiness or “Jones Act negligence.”

Talk to Maritime Accident Lawyer David Willis for Free

Were you injured while working at a port, terminal or dock in Pennsylvania? If so, we encourage you to contact us for a confidential consultation. To discuss your legal rights with maritime accident lawyer David Willis for free, call 800-468-4878 or tell us how we can reach you online now.

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