- How do I contact the Department of Labor about my
Special Fund benefits?
You should contact your local Longshore district office
because it maintains your claims records and has the most current information
regarding your claim. When you call or write, give your OWCP claim number or
your Social Security Number (the deceased employee's Social Security Number if
you are receiving death benefits). If your district office dir
- How do I go about getting income verification of my
Special Fund benefits?
Requests for income verification must be submitted to your
district office in writing. If a third-party requests income
verification directly from your district office, your written authorization
releasing this information must accompany the request. The district office will
not release income information to a third party without your written
- To whom and how do I report an address or bank
Report address changes or changes in payment instructions
to the district office in writing. Telephone messages will not be
- What do I do when my Special Fund check is late or
Report late or missing checks to the attention of the
national office fiscal officer in writing at the address provided in Question
1. This notification must include the date of the missing check and should not
be submitted until the check is seven calendar days overdue. Telephone messages
will not be honored.
- How do I go about having my biweekly benefits
payments directly deposited into my bank account?
Obtain a direct deposit sign-up form from either your bank
or your district office. Fill out the top section of that form, and have your
bank fill out the bottom section. Then return the form to your district office.
- What do I need to do if I want someone else to manage
my Special Fund benefits?
You must submit a properly-executed Power of Attorney to
the district office if you want to authorize another person to manage your
Special Fund payments.
- Why wasn't my annual October 1st
cost-of-living-adjustment increase in my first October check?
October 1 frequently falls between pay periods, so the
adjustment beginning October 1 is included in the following pay period.
- I receive Special Fund checks, but there was no
increase in October. Why not?
You are only entitled to annual adjustments if your
benefits are for permanent total disability benefits, or you are the dependent
survivor of a claimant whose death was related to his/her work-related injury.
- My spouse, a Special Fund recipient, recently passed
away. What do I do with the Special Fund checks/direct deposits s/he received
after s/he died? Can I keep them?
No. Any checks or direct deposits paid to your spouse after
his/her death must be returned to the attention of the national office fiscal
officer at the address provided in Question 1. The national office will then
determine whether your spouse's estate is entitled to a full or partial refund.
- Will I be entitled to receive death benefits when my
In order to obtain workers' compensation survivor benefits,
you must file a claim and supply medical information that supports the
connection between your spouse's work-related injury and his/her death. A claim
for death benefits must be filed within one year of the employee's death, two
years in the case of occupational disease (e.g., asbestosis). To file a claim
for death benefits you should complete Form LS-262, which can be obtained online or from
your district office. You
must submit this information to your district office.
- I'm a widow/widower receiving death benefits from
the Special Fund. Will I receive these benefits for life?
As a widow/widower receiving Special Fund payments, you
will receive survivor benefits for life as long as you do not remarry. If you
remarry, you will receive a one-time, lump-sum payment, representing two years
of survivor benefits. If you subsequently divorce your new spouse, or s/he
dies, your benefits will not be reinstated.
- I am a Special Fund recipient currently receiving
permanent total disability (PTD) / permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.
Will I continue to receive these benefits for life?
Generally, you will receive PTD or PPD benefits for as long
as your disability continues. However, your benefit may be increased,
decreased, or terminated as a result of modification of your award. Any party
in interest (including the Director or employer/insurer) may ask for
modification based on a change in your condition or due to a mistake of fact. A
change in condition may include either a change in physical (medical) condition
or a change in economic condition, such as wage earning capacity.
- I am receiving permanent partial disability benefits
from the Special Fund. My doctor has just informed me I require more surgery. I
will be temporarily and totally disabled for a while. Who will compensate me
during this period?
Your employer/insurer will compensate you during periods of
temporary disability. As soon as you become aware that you will require more
surgery, or that other circumstances have temporarily disabled you, you or your
attorney should submit medical information to your employer/insurer and to the
district office to that effect. If your employer/insurer does not agree that
your benefits should be modified, you may request an informal conference on the
issue. If all parties agree to the modification, the district office will issue
an order modifying your original award of compensation. All parties involved
must comply with the original order until it is modified. Your case will be
reviewed when it is determined you have once again reached maximum medical
- I am currently receiving permanent partial
disability (PPD) benefits but my condition has worsened and my doctor advises
me to stop working. How do I apply for permanent total disability (PTD)
As soon as you become aware that you are permanently and
totally disabled, you or your attorney should submit medical information to
your employer/insurer and to the district office to that effect. If your
employer/insurer does not agree that your benefits should be modified from PPD
to PTD, you may request an informal conference on the issue by contacting your
district office. If all parties agree to the modification, the district office
will issue an order modifying your original award of compensation. If not, your
case must be referred to an Administrative Law Judge for a decision on the
matter. All parties involved must comply with the original order until it is