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To whom does the LHWCA apply?

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA) is federal legislation that provides workers' compensation rights and benefits to individuals who work on and near navigable waters. "Near" is an important term in the understanding of how the LHWCA applies to ailing individuals, and this post will briefly discuss how certain Hawaiian workers may qualify for support from this law.

Navigable waters may be understood as bodies of water that are travelable and that are generally governed by federal laws. As such, the Pacific Ocean may be considered navigable waters and therefore the men and women who work in water-based commerce in Hawaii may qualify for protection under the law if they are hurt or made ill by the work they perform for pay.

While other federal laws only apply to workers who perform job duties on boats or rigs, the LHWCA extends protections to individuals who work on docks, harbors or other maritime locations where work is performed. For example, an individual who works to unload cargo from shipping vessels who is hurt in the performance of their duties may be able to pursue support from the LHWCA even though their actual job does not have them working on a boat or ship.

Initiating a LHWCA claim can be complicated, and a worker who is ailing from a job-related illness or injury may require help to know how and where to file their claim. It is important that they fully understand their rights and their options for seeking financial support. With the right information, they can pursue the benefits they need.

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Turbin Chu Heidt Attorneys at Law
737 Bishop Street
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Honolulu, HI 96813

Phone: 808-379-3586
Phone: 808-528-4000
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