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November 4, 2008    DOL Home > ESA > OWCP > DLHWC > DLHWC CSP   

Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP)

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OWCP Administers disability compensation programs that provide benefits for certain workers or dependants who experience work-related injury or illness.
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Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation (DLHWC)

Customer Service Plan

Our Mission

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and its extensions, administered by the U. S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, provide medical benefits, compensation for lost wages, and rehabilitation services to employees who are injured during the course of employment or contract an occupational disease related to employment. Survivor benefits also are provided if the work-related injury or disease causes, contributes to, or hastens the employee's death.

What Our Program Does

The Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act provides employment-injury and occupational-disease protection to approximately 500,000 workers who are injured or contract occupational diseases occurring on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas, and for certain other classes of workers covered by extensions of this Act.

These benefits are paid directly by an authorized self-insured employer; or through an authorized insurance carrier; or, in particular circumstances, by a Special Fund administered directly by the Division of Longshore Compensation.

In addition to longshore, harbor, and other maritime workers, LHWCA covers a variety of other employees through the following extensions to the Act: The District of Columbia Workmen's Compensation Act (enacted in 1928 and repealed effective July 26, 1982); Defense Base Act (1941); Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (1952); and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (1953).

Services Our Customers Can Expect:

Our program's commitment to you is to:

  • Ensure that your employer provides prompt medical attention to you and insure that your treatment is provided by a physician that you select;
  • Ensure that your employer/insurance carrier promptly pays initial compensation benefits due to you;
  • Address all issues in dispute when an informal conference is conducted. Make specific written recommendations on these issues within 10 days of this conference;
  • Ensure that all correspondence submitted to you by Department of Labor personnel is easy to understand; and
  • Respond to all communications from you in a courteous and professional manner.

A random survey of Longshore claimants around the country revealed that most claimants were satisfied with the service provided by our district offices. However, there were some concerns expressed in the following areas:

Claimants are not always being advised by their employers at the time of injury that they have a free choice of physician under the provisions of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act. However, the majority indicated that they were provided with prompt medical attention.

Some claimants also complained that the initial payment of compensation is not being made timely by the self-insured employer or the insurance carriers.

To improve service in these areas, we have taken the following actions:

  • We circulated the results of the surveys to all Longshore district offices, so that they are aware of the responses to the survey questions.
  • Through the on-going technical assistance program that each district office already has in place, special emphasis will be placed on advising employers of their responsibilities to pay compensation promptly and to display notices to employees, in conspicuous locations, that advise them of their rights under the Act, including the right to a free choice of physician.
  • An Industry Notice (Customer Satisfaction Survey Results - Industry Notice FY94) was issued to all authorized self insured employers and insurance carriers outlining the concerns cited by claimants in the survey and emphasizing their responsibilities in these areas. Access this Industry Notice (and other available Industry Notices).


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