How to File Under the LHWCA
The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) was created to cover workers’ compensation claims for maritime employees who do not fall under the Jones Act. Essentially, the LHWCA are rules and regulations that cover workers’ compensation for those who are not considered to “directly aid in the function or mission of a sea vessel.” This means harbor workers and other employees who are laboring on waters within and around the United States are the primary beneficiaries.
Here are steps an injured harbor or longshoreman should take to file a claim under the LHWCA.
Immediately After an Injury
- Notify a supervisor or employer that you have suffered an injury as soon as possible.
- Seek medical treatment for your injury as soon as possible.*
- You must give your employer a written notice of injury within 30 days of your accident date. In the case that you had an injury without realizing it, 30 days from initial discovery of the injury.
- To turn in your written injury notice, use form LS-201.
* As an employee that falls under the LHWCA, you are entitled to choose a physician who can take care of your injuries. You will need to fill out a form LS-1, which is a Request for Examination and/or Treatment. If you have a medical emergency, you are entitled to “get treatment now and sign forms later.” This means that you will fill out the LS-1 form after the emergency.
Seeking Compensation for Your Injury
- The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) must be notified of your injury within one year of its occurrence. If an employer is paying workers’ compensation benefits voluntarily, an employee must file a notification with the OWCP within a year of the last compensation payment. To notify the OWCP of either situation, you must fill out form LS-203.
- The employer or insurance carrier will be the party liable to pay for your workers’ compensation claim. In the event that both the employer and the insurance carrier are bankrupt, the OWCP may pay your benefit from a Special Fund.
Filing Your Forms
- If you do not have an OWCP file number and are filing a new claim, the claim forms should be sent to New York City DLHWC District Office, which is the designated Central Case Create site for all Office of Workers’ Compensation claims. Once the case is filed, it will be viewable online through the district office with jurisdiction off the claim.
- If you do have an OWCP file number, you can use Longshore’s Secure Electronic Access Portal (SEAPortal) to digitally send forms or documents to your OWCP case file.
Getting Legal Assistance for the Process
If you need help in filing these forms, in understanding the procedures for telling your LHWCA employer of the incident, or if you need direction in determining if you have a workers’ compensation claim under the LHWCA, we can help. Arnold & Itkin LHWCA attorneys can guide you on every step of the process. We can help you whether you were just injured or if you are trying to file to the OWCP. If you have any questions regarding your LHWCA, call us for a free consultation about your claim.
We can make filing workers’ compensation claims simple. Call (888) 346-5024 for the help you need.