Workers Compensation Insurance was created for two reasons. The first reason was to provide income to employees or their families if workers were injured, killed, or made ill by job related hazards. And the second reason is to help businesses fund such fiduciary requirements, if the need arises.
Workers compensation is typically standard across many industries. Some industries, though, have workers compensation requirements that are very specific to their niche. Such is the case with the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation.
The U.S. Department of Labor created the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act in 1927 to protect American maritime, longshore and harbor workers. Today, it is a safeguard for approximately one half million workers or contractors who are injured or fall ill while working on any waters navigable by the U. S. (Thanks to Defense Base Act attorneys, the Longshore and harbor workers compensation act also covers U.S. government contractors working on military bases overseas, of which more than 155,000 contractors are in Iraq and Afhganistan alone!)
The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation program currently manages an average of 27,000 maritime claims and cases each year for workers who are injured, killed, or suffer from an occupationally related disease.
Often, Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation benefits are funded by insurance subscribers (employers) or paid by authorized insurance carriers. However, in the instance of Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation, benefits can also be paid by a special fund that is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation fund currently holds more than $2.8 billion in reserve securities so that if an employer falls into financial straights, their employees can still receive benefits.
It is important to note that the LHWCA applies to any maritime related work. This includes work on navigable waters as well as work on docks, piers, wharfs, etc.