LHWCA Benefits for Widows and Other Surviving Family Members

The death of a loved one is difficult and it can be even worse if the person who passed away was an income provider. There are benefits available for widows and surviving family members of longshoremen and other maritime workers. Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), dependents of the deceased worker may be able to recover benefits if a maritime injury contributed to the death.

The LHWCA was created to allow employees to receive compensation and medical care if they become disabled from injuries that occurred “on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas used in loading, unloading, repairing or building a vessel.”

Based on this federal law, dependents who may be eligible to receive LHWCA benefits include the widow, widower, parent, grandparent, sibling or grandchild.

Death benefits provided by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act include funeral expenses up to $3,000 and 50 percent of the employee’s average weekly income. If the deceased worker had one ore more children, an additional 16 2/3 percent of the average weekly income is available.