What are the status and situs tests for Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claims?

The Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) provides health care and protection to maritime employees who don’t work as seamen. To qualify for benefits under the LHWCA, a maritime worker must meet the requirements established in Sections 2(3) and 3(a). These two sections are known as status and situs tests. Both of these tests must be met in order to receive benefits.

Status Test

The status test specifies the jobs that qualify for LHWCA benefits. To receive benefits, an employee’s work must include maritime-related duties. This means that a significant portion of the employee’s work must be related to the water or marine transport. If an employee of a maritime employer exclusively performs office work, for example, he will not meet the status test.

Maritime employees are generally permitted to file a claim if they are:

  • Shipbuilders
  • Stevedores
  • Shipyard workers
  • Longshoremen
  • Longshore checkers
  • Vessel repair specialists
  • Marine construction staff
  • Terminal workers
  • Waterfront crane operators

Situs Test

The second qualification test under the LHWCA is the situs, or location, test. Someone working in the harbor or docks may meet the requirements of the status test, but he won’t qualify for benefits unless he works on, near, or adjacent to navigable water. This means that the work done must either be on a ship, or very close to it. Generally, an employee working more than a mile away from either the water or the border of a shipyard or terminal is unlikely to meet this test.

Locations that typically qualify under the situs test include:

  • Terminals
  • Marine railways
  • Drydocks
  • Wharves
  • Oil rigs
  • Piers
  • Building ways
  • Natural gas drilling platforms

You Need an Attorney

If you’ve been injured at work, you may qualify for benefits under the LHWCA. To receive the compensation you deserve, you need professional legal representation. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.

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