Three Tests You Must Pass to Qualify for Longshoreman Workers Comp
Basically there are three “tests” that must be passed for an injured worker to be eligible for Longshoreman Workers Comp. In this article our Long Beach Longshore Lawyers explain how to determine if you many qualify for these benefits.
(1.) “Status Test” for Longshoreman Workers Comp
To be eligible for Longshoreman Workers Comp, and injured worker must meet the statutory definition of “maritime employee”. The Longshore Act defines an eligible employee as any person who is engaged in maritime employment, including:
- harbor workers;
- ship repairmen;
- ship loading or unloading workers;
- others performing traditional maritime employment.
However, there are express “exceptions” that are specifically excluded from the definition of a maritime employee. And while these excepted class cannot collect Longshore Workers Comp, their employer must covered them under their state’s workers’ compensation law.
Employees excluded from Longshoreman Workers Comp are:
- Employees who exclusively perform office clerical, secretarial, security or data processing work;
- Employees of a marina who are not engaged in construction, replacement or expansion of the marina (except routine maintenance);
- Employees of suppliers, transporters or vendors who are temporarily working on the site of a covered employer, but who are not engaged in the same type of work normally performed by employees of the maritime employer;
- Employees who build any recreational vessel under sixty-five feet in length, or who repair or dismantle any part of a recreational vessel;
- Masters or crew members of any vessel;
- Employees of the United States government or of any state or foreign government;
Employees whose injuries were caused solely by their own intoxication, as well as employees whose injuries were due to their own willful intention to harm themselves or others are also ineligible for Longshoreman Workers Comp.
(2.) “Situs Test” for Longshoreman Workers Comp
Next, the “Situs Test” for Longshoreman Workers Comp looks at where the workplace injury or death occurred. To qualify for Longshoreman Workers Comp benefits the injury must have occurred:
- Upon the navigable waters of the United States, or
- On any adjoining pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building way, marine railway, or
- On any other adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, or building a vessel.
Navigable waters are defined as including:
- Waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide; and
- Waters that are, have been or may be used to transport interstate or foreign commerce.
(3.) “Disability” Test for Longshoreman Workers Comp
Even if the employee meets the “status test”, and the location of the injury meets the “situs test”, the worker must still prove that they are suffering from a work related disability that renders them unable to earn the same wages that the employee was receiving at the time of injury.
A medical doctor must certify that the employee is not able to work.
If the injured employee shows he or she is unable to return to work for medical reasons and is still recuperating from the work injury, their will qualify for “temporary” Longshore benefits. However, if the injured employee can prove that their medical condition has become stable and is not expected to improve, they will qualify for “permanent” Longshore Workers Compensation.
Similarly, if the employee can prove that they cannot do any work due to the work-related injury, they will be eligible for “total” disability payments. However, if they can only show that they cannot do the same they were doing before, but can work in a light or modified job, they will qualify for “partial” Longshore Workers Compensation.
Long Beach Longshoreman Workers Comp Attorneys
If you were injured or made ill while working in a maritime environment, we encourage you to call on our skilled and experienced Long Beach Longshore workers Comp attorneys. We have obtained millions of dollars in settlements for longshore, maritime and dock workers in Southern California and across the United States.
We offer a free consultation to evaluate your case and advise you on the best legal avenue to pursue in your unique situation, to ensure you collect the maximum compensation for which you qualify.