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Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)

The Longshore Act and Its Extensions

The Act was created to provide compensation payable by an employer to an employee, or the employee's dependents, for disability or death due to an injury occurring upon the navigable waters or in an adjoining waterfront area of the United States. The Act provides payment for medical care required for the injury, disability compensation payments and rehab services. In the event of death caused by injury or related condition, benefits include payment for reasonable funeral expenses and compensation payments to spouses and minor or student children, and sometimes for other eligible dependents.

The extensions of the Act include the Defense Base Act, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and the Nonappropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act. The benefits structure of the Longshore Act applies to these Acts.

The Defense Base Act provides workers' compensation coverage on American defense bases, and those working under contracts with the United States government for defense or public-works projects, outside of the United States. To be compensated under the Act, a claim must stem from a "contract" for "public work" overseas, public work constituting government related construction projects, work connected with national defense, or employment under a service contract supporting either activity.

The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act provides workers' compensation coverage for the death or disability of an employee resulting from an injury occurring as a result of operations connected with the exploration, development, removal, and transportation of natural resources from the seabed and subsoil of the Outer Continental Shelf (i.e., drilling and production of offshore oil and gas). The Act applies to all submerged lands (and artificial islands and fixed structures thereon) which lie beneath navigable waters seaward of state jurisdictional boundaries, and which are subject to the jurisdiction and control of the United States.

The Nonappropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act provides workers' compensation coverage to civilian employees of nonappropriated fund instrumentalities (such as post exchanges) of the Armed Forces.