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Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)

Document Submission and Communication with OWCP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 

  1. How do I contact my Claims Examiner?
  2. Why can't I communicate with the OWCP by email?
  3. Why won't the OWCP staff talk to my spouse or my family about my claim?
  4. Is there a way to obtain updates from OWCP regarding the latest news and any significant changes pertaining to the Longshore Act, and its extensions?
  5. Where should I submit case file documents?
  6. Do I need to submit multiple copies of forms?
  7. If I don't use the SEAPortal, how should documents be submitted to the Central Mail Receipt site for the most efficient processing?
  8. Where do I submit checks?
  9. Can I send mail to the individual District Offices?
  10. Can I submit a disc with documents on it to include in the case file?
  11. Where do I submit photos and/or physical evidence?
  12. Can I contact the Central Mail Receipt site in Jacksonville to determine whether my document has been received and uploaded to the case file?
  13. What form(s) should be submitted to have a case created?
  14. Where do I get a Longshore form?
  15. Where do I send new reports of injury/deaths?
  16. How should documents be submitted to the Central Case Create site for the most efficient processing?
  17. Should I submit only the case create form by itself to the Central Case Create site? What if there are attachments?
  18. How are cases created and assigned to individual District Offices?
  19. How do I know which individual District Office has jurisdiction of a case once it is created?
  20. Can I contact the Central Case Create site in New York City to check on the status of the creation of case?
  21. What happens to my OWCP case file if I move?
  22. How do I get a copy of my OWCP case file?
  23. How do I get a copy of someone else's OWCP case file?
  24. Who has the right to review my OWCP case file?

 


GENERAL

1. How do I contact my Claims Examiner?

You can call the District Office that maintains your case file to speak with your Claims Examiner. Office contact information can be found in the Contact Us section on our website. See FAQ 18 and 19 for more information on determining where a case is located.

You may also submit a written inquiry. See FAQ 5.


2. Why can't I communicate with the OWCP by email?

As a matter of policy, the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP) does not discuss or handle claims by e-mail. This is to protect your privacy. You should contact the District Office handling your case by telephone with specific claim-related questions. Alternatively, you can submit a written inquiry to your Claims Examiner. See FAQ 5.


3. Why won't the OWCP staff talk to my spouse or my family about my claim?

The Privacy Act prevents the OWCP from releasing any information regarding a claim without the signed written authorization of the injured employee, even if the person requesting information is a spouse or other relative. You can submit your signed authorization to your Claims Examiner. See FAQ 5.


4. Is there a way to obtain updates from OWCP regarding the latest news and any significant changes pertaining to the Longshore Act, and its extensions?

Yes. You can sign up for e-mail updates. Please see the Subscribe to Email Updates link on our website.


DOCUMENT SUBMISSION

5. Where should I submit case file documents?

If you already have an OWCP file number, you can use Longshore's Secure Electronic Access Portal (SEAPortal), located at https://seaportal.dol-esa.gov/portal/

  • The SEAPortal is a web-based application that allows any stakeholder with internet access to upload documents (in pdf or tif format) directly into a case file. Users do not need to register or enroll to use the SEAPortal. You simply need the OWCP case number and the injured worker's last name, date of birth and date of injury.
  • The SEAPortal provides important advantages over other means of submitting documents to OWCP, such as same-day delivery to the appropriate case file and OWCP employee, and the elimination of costs associated with traditional delivery methods.
  • SEAPortal submissions are delivered to the OWCP examiner within four (4) hours of your submission, and you have the ability to track the document using a tracking number that is generated by the website.
  • If a document is submitted via the SEAPortal, please do not submit a hard copy of the document.
  • To learn more about the SEAPortal, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the SEAPortal site.

Alternatively, case file documents can be sent to the following address: U. S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation, 400 West Bay Street, Suite 63A, Box 28, Jacksonville, FL 32202. This is the address of our Jacksonville DLHWC District Office, which is designated as the Central Mail Receipt site for the entire program. This site scans all mail for all existing cases, regardless of the owning District Office. The mail is then viewable electronically by the District Office with jurisdiction for the case. See FAQ 7.

If an OWCP case number has not yet been assigned, the claim form (LS-201, LS-202, LS-203 or LS-262) should be sent to our Central Case Create site. See FAQ 15.


6. Do I need to submit multiple copies of forms?

No. Please submit only one copy of a document. There is no need to file more than one copy. Submit only a single LS-18, LS-203, LS-206, LS-207, LS-208, Section 8(f) and 8(i) application, etc.


7. If I don't use the SEAPortal, how should documents be submitted to the Central Mail Receipt site for the most efficient processing?

To facilitate efficient and timely processing of documents, please adhere to the following:

  • Reference the OWCP case number on every page of the document.
  • Use standard letter sized paper, (8 1/2 x 11), with no extending labels or tabs.
  • If a document is smaller than standard sized paper, e.g. prescription receipts, change of address cards, etc., copy it on to or tape it to letter sized paper.
  • Do not reference multiple injured workers' names and case numbers in a single document; such documents cannot be placed into the file without manual redaction of the other individuals' personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Avoid the use of colored paper and colored ink.
  • Complete all fields on forms and ensure forms are legible.

Note - Time sensitive documents such as conference requests, 8(i) settlements, 8(f) applications, etc. should be clearly labeled. Please label such requests in bold letters on the first page of the document.


8. Where do I submit checks?

All checks payable to the Department of Labor - DLHWC should be sent to the DLHWC Chief - Branch of Financial Management, Insurance and Assessments, Washington, DC. All checks must reference the injured workers' name and OWCP case number. If the check is in response to a letter from the District Office, a transmittal letter explaining the purpose of the check should be included.

U. S. Department of Labor
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation
200 Constitution Avenue, Room C-4319
Washington, DC 20210


9. Can I send mail to the individual District Offices?

Case specific mail should not be sent to the individual District Offices. All mail should be submitted through the SEAPortal or sent to the Central Mail Receipt site in Jacksonville.

However, you can send non-case specific mail directly to the District Office to the attention of the District Director. Examples include: jurisdictional inquiries, requests to visit an office, etc.


10. Can I submit a disc with documents on it to include in the case file?

No. Documents must be submitted either electronically through the SEAPortal or in paper form to the Central Mail Receipt site.


11. Where do I submit photos and/or physical evidence?

Photos and physical evidence can be submitted to the Central Mail Receipt site like other mail. They must contain the injured worker's name and case file number. Upon receipt, a placeholder will be scanned into the file to document receipt and the photos or physical evidence will be sent to the owning District Office for review and storage.


12. Can I contact the Central Mail Receipt site in Jacksonville to determine whether my document has been received and uploaded to the case file?

No. The claims staff in the Jacksonville District Office cannot provide you with information concerning a particular document, unless of course Jacksonville is the owning District Office.


NEW CASES

13. What form(s) should be submitted to have a case created?

Any of the following forms (with the applicable attachments) may be submitted for the creation of a case:

        LS-201 (Notice of Employee's Injury or Death)
        LS-202 (Employer's First Report of Injury or Occupational Illness)
        LS-203 (Employee's Claim for Compensation)
        LS-262 (Claim for Death Benefits)


14. Where do I get a Longshore form?

Most Longshore forms can be found in the Forms section on our website.

Forms are also available at any Longshore District Office. To request a form, or for additional information and assistance on how to complete the forms, contact the District Office where your claim is administrated. Office contact information can be found in the Contact Us section on our website.


15. Where do I send new reports of injury/deaths?

If you do not have an OWCP file number and you are filing a new claim, the claim form LS-201, LS-202, LS-203 or LS-262) should be sent to the New York City DLHWC District Office, which is designated as the Central Case Create site for the entire program. This site creates cases for all new injuries, regardless of the location of injury or claimant's home address. After the case is created, it is viewable electronically by the District Office with jurisdiction for the case.

U. S. Department of Labor
Office of Workers' Compensation Programs
Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation
201 Varick Street, Room 740
Post Office Box 249
New York, NY 10014-0249


16. How should documents be submitted to the Central Case Create site for the most efficient processing?

To facilitate efficient and timely processing of documents, please adhere to the following:

  • Use standard letter sized paper, (8 1/2 x 11), with no extending labels or tabs.
  • If a document is smaller than standard sized paper, e.g. a prescription receipt, copy it on to or tape it to letter sized paper.
  • Do not reference multiple injured workers' names in a single document; such documents cannot be placed into the file without manual redaction of the other individuals' personally identifiable information (PII).
  • Avoid the use of colored paper and colored ink.
  • Complete all fields on forms and ensure forms are legible.

17. Should I submit only the case create form by itself to the Central Case Create site? What if there are attachments?

If you have attachments to submit with the case create form, e.g. a Notice of Representation or medical evidence, those documents should be submitted with the case create form. After the initial submission though, you should wait to receive a case number and then submit additional documentation, with the case number, through the SEAPortal or to the Central Mail Receipt site.


18. How are cases created and assigned to individual District Offices?

Cases are created and assigned based on the place of injury or death and the employee's home address. The prefix of the case number coincides with the owning District Office. For example, if an injured worker is injured and lives in Texas, the case falls within the Houston District Office's jurisdiction, so the case will be assigned the prefix 08 in the OWCP case number.

DLHWC District Offices are located in Boston (01), New York (02), Norfolk (05), Jacksonville (06), New Orleans (07), Houston (08), San Francisco/Honolulu (13), Seattle (14) and Long Beach (18). Office contact information can be found on our website in the Contact Us section.


19. How do I know which individual District Office has jurisdiction of a case once it is created?

When a case is created, standard notices are sent to the injured worker and the employer/carrier that include the case number and the assigned District Office that will manage the case. Also, the OWCP case number prefix as mentioned above in FAQ 18 will help identify the owning District Office.


20. Can I contact the Central Case Create site in New York City to check on the status of the creation of case?

No. The claims staff in the New York City District Office cannot provide you with the status of a particular case that is being created. New cases are generally created within 3 business days of receipt of the forms mentioned above in FAQ 13. If a case has not been created within that time frame, check with the District Office that should have jurisdiction of the case for instructions.


CHANGE OF ADDRESS

21. What happens to my OWCP case file if I move?

If you move to a state that is under the jurisdiction of a different District Office, your OWCP case file can be transferred to the office closer to your home. You should submit your new address and contact information to OWCP and request that your case file be transferred. Please make sure to provide a day-time telephone number in the event we need to contact you. See FAQ 5 for information on how to submit documentation to OWCP.


CASE FILES

22. How do I get a copy of my OWCP case file?

OWCP case files are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. §552a (the Privacy Act). You may request a copy of your case file (or any information in your case file) by submitting a written request. The OWCP will provide one copy of your case file free of charge, but you must pay a copying charge for any additional copies. See FAQ 5 for information on how to submit a written request to OWCP.


23. How do I get a copy of someone else's OWCP case file?

The Privacy Act prohibits disclosure of the contents of OWCP case files to anyone who is not a party to the claim without a specific written consent from the injured employee who filed the claim, or a court order.


24. Who has the right to review my OWCP case file?

You, your employer, the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier, authorized representatives, such as your or the employer's attorney, and DOL officials all have access to your OWCP case file for purposes of administering your claim.