The LHWCA and Defense Base Act provide disability and medical benefits to covered employees injured in the course of employment and death benefits to eligible survivors of employees killed in the course of employment. Compensation for total disability is two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly earnings, up to a current maximum weekly benefit which is usually inflated annually. Compensation is also payable for partial loss of earnings or a loss of earning capacity for certain types of injuries. Impairment Benefits are also available for injuries to your upper or lower extremities.
Death benefits are paid at the rate of one-half of the employee’s average weekly earnings to a surviving spouse or one child, or two-thirds of average weekly earnings for two or more eligible survivors up to the current maximum rate of $1,047.16 per week. The Defense Base Act also incorporates the LHWCA’s provision for payment of reasonable funeral expenses.
Permanent total disability and death benefits may be payable for life, and are subject to annual cost of living adjustments. The LHWCA minimum benefits rate, however, does not apply to DBA claims.
After an injury is at maximum medical improvement the worker is entitled to ongoing permanent or partial benefits or a schedule award for the body part or hearing loss as determined by the Act. These determinations can be complex and a competent attorney must advise you on this aspect.
The injured employee is also entitled to medical treatment by a physician of his/her choice, as the injury may require.