Yes. The Longshore Act and DBA require every employer (including contractors and subcontractors) either to secure insurance for the payment of workers’ compensation benefits provided under the Act or to be approved to self-insure. If a subcontractor fails to pay ordered compensation, the contractor will be liable and will be required to pay such benefits. Currently three major insurance carriers provide most of the Defense Base Act insurance coverage. They are ACE USA, American International Group (AIG), and CNA.
The initial part of your claim is handled informally with the Department of Labor serving as a mediator. If an issue arises, your case will be set for an informal conference with a representative of the Department of Labor, the Employer/Carrier, the Claimant, and Claimant’s attorney. Claims that cannot be resolved informally, will be referred to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) for formal hearing. This is an actual trial in front of a Judge. Here you will be asked to testify with other possible witnesses and doctors’ medical evidence will be offered. The Judge alone will decide your case. Decisions by an administrative law judge may be appealed to the Benefits Review Board and to the federal courts.
A written notice of the employee’s death is given to the employer within 30 days. A claim for compensation must be filed with the OWCP office having jurisdiction of your claim within one year after the date of the employee’s death.
The carrier must be given Notice of Injury within 30 days of the date of accident or the time in which you new that an injury had occurred. A written claim for compensation must be filed with the Department of Labor, OWCP district office having jurisdiction of your claim within one year after the date of injury or last payment of compensation, whichever is later. For instance, if your are receiving compensation and the Employer terminates payment of compensation, you have one year to file a Claim from the date that you last received compensation. The time for filing claims in certain occupational disease cases is two years. However, as to medical benefits, typically there is no Statute of Limitations.
If you are disabled more than 3 days, contact your employer or the insurance company for payment of compensation, which must be paid 14 days after your employer has knowledge of the injury and claim for benefits. If payments are contested or withheld call our firm at 305-373-9091.
As mentioned above, you are entitled to be treated by a physician of your own selection. It is important that you stick with a physician that will handle your case appropriately and not be at the whim of the Employer/Carrier. DO NOT sign any forms which waive your right to or designate a physician as your choice of physician. Occasionally, these forms are given to you by a port doctor at the time of a drug test. Read any forms that the Employer/Carrier or physician gives you to sign. If you have a doubt, do not sign it and consult an attorney.