Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation

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If you work in the maritime industry in Denver, Colorado, or find yourself injured on navigable waters adjacent to the state, understanding your rights under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is crucial. Gregory A. Hall, a dedicated employment and personal injury law attorney based in Denver, specializes in guiding individuals through the complexities of maritime injury claims. Here’s what you need to know about LHWCA and how it applies in the Mile High City.

What is the LHWCA?

The LHWCA is a federal law designed to provide compensation, medical care, and rehabilitation services to employees disabled from on-the-job injuries that occur on navigable waters of the United States or adjoining areas used in vessel-related activities. This act also extends benefits to survivors in case of death resulting from work-related injuries.

Who is Covered?

The LHWCA covers various maritime occupations such as longshore workers, shipbuilders, harbor construction workers, and more. Additionally, it extends coverage to non-maritime employees who work on or near navigable waters and suffer injuries there.

Extensions of the LHWCA

Congress has extended the LHWCA to include other types of employment, such as the Defense Base Act (DBA), Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), and Non-Appropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NAFIA), broadening its scope to encompass diverse work settings.


While the LHWCA provides extensive coverage, certain categories of individuals are excluded, including seamen, government employees, and those whose injuries result from intoxication or intentional self-harm. Moreover, specific occupations covered by state workers’ compensation laws may not fall under LHWCA’s jurisdiction.

Understanding Jones Act

It’s essential to differentiate between the Jones Act and the LHWCA. While the LHWCA covers most maritime workers, the Jones Act specifically pertains to “seamen” and members of a vessel’s crew, offering distinct compensation mechanisms for this subset of maritime employees.

The Role of OWCP/DLHWC

The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), particularly the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC), oversees the implementation of the LHWCA. They facilitate the claims process, ensure prompt benefits delivery, and provide assistance in resolving disputes.

Reporting a New Injury

In the event of a work-related injury, timely reporting is crucial. Employees should notify their employer promptly, seek necessary medical treatment, and adhere to reporting requirements outlined by the LHWCA to safeguard their entitlement to compensation benefits.

Filing a Claim

Employees must file a written claim with the OWCP within the stipulated timeframe, using designated forms such as LS-203 for compensation claims. Failure to adhere to these procedures may result in claim denial or delayed benefits delivery.

Payment of Benefits

Employers, through their insurance carriers, are responsible for providing disability benefits and covering medical expenses for work-related injuries. In exceptional cases of insolvency or bankruptcy, the OWCP’s Special Fund may step in to ensure beneficiaries receive rightful compensation.

Navigating the Process

With various district offices across the country, including those in Long Beach, San Francisco, and Seattle, injured workers can access assistance and resources to navigate the claims process effectively.

Understanding the nuances of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation is essential for maritime workers in Denver, Colorado. With Gregory A. Hall’s expertise in employment and personal injury law, individuals can navigate the complexities of LHWCA claims with confidence, ensuring their rights and entitlements are protected in the event of a workplace injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to receive benefits under the LHWCA?

The timeline for receiving benefits can vary based on the complexity of the case, extent of injuries, and the efficiency of the claims process. Typically, benefits should commence shortly after the claim is approved, but it’s advisable to seek legal guidance to expedite the process and ensure timely compensation.

Can I appeal a decision made regarding my LHWCA claim?

Yes, if you disagree with a decision made regarding your LHWCA claim, you have the right to appeal. The appeals process involves formal hearings before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ), where evidence and arguments are presented to adjudicate the dispute. Seeking legal representation during the appeals process can significantly enhance your chances of a favorable outcome.

What should I do if my employer denies my LHWCA claim?

If your employer denies your LHWCA claim, it’s essential to seek legal counsel promptly. An experienced attorney can review the details of your case, assess the grounds for denial, and formulate a strategy to challenge the decision. Whether through negotiations or litigation, legal representation can help you navigate the complexities of the claims process and advocate for your rights effectively.

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“Mr. Gregory A. Hall represented me for over ten years in a complex matter against the Office of Federal Workers Compensation. Throughout the entire OWCP compensation claim and appeals process, Mr. Hall consistently demonstrated his extraordinary competence, energy and compassion for my case. I am an attorney who was fortunate to become Greg’s client; his efforts on my behalf have exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend him.”

- Marcia Hernandez, Client

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Denver Attorney - Gregory A. Hall

Gregory A. Hall serves Denver and the state of Colorado

Denver-based lawyer, Gregory A. Hall, is a personal injury and employment lawyer licensed to practice law in Colorado. Mr. Hall handles several types of claims, including but not limited to, personal injury, employment, civil rights, whistleblower, qui tam, business litigation, discrimination, sexual harassment, insurance bad faith, OPM disability retirement, MSPB, and OWCP (federal workers’ compensation).

Contact Gregory

Please complete short form below with your contact details and a brief description of your legal issue – we will follow up with you as soon as we can.

What type of legal matter are you interested in discussing with Gregory?
Could you please describe your legal matter in more detail so Gregory can better understand how he may be able to help you?