Ruling: Longshore Benefit Entitlement Begins on the Day of Injury

A bold and landmark ruling was recently handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court held that long term disability payments for longshoremen will now be determined by the date the disability or death occurred rather than the date the employee was first awarded compensation.

This clarification removes confusion as to when to begin payments; a date which determines the ultimate payment amount for an injured longshoreman. This decision will have implications across the U.S.

The Supreme Court explored the example of two workers hurt in the same incident on the same day who may have been awarded different compensation amounts based on arbitrary court dates. This new ruling will ensure something like this does not happen again.

Much Needed Clarification

The ruling also eases confusion for those who have been granted compensation money from their employer, but then go to court when the compensation has ended. In those instances, the payout will be determined by the original injury date rather than the new court rule.

This difference is important because it regulates how much weekly revenue the employee will be granted. The award amount is amplified every October 1 due to cost of living, so the nearer to October 1 the injury or award sum befalls, the greater the weekly payoff will be.

Although the ultimate weekly payout may not be as high as an employee may hope for, the expectation is that he or she will be awarded benefits for the entire injury period, and not just from when the courts have approved them. The ruling will establish a clear, incontestable date by which the impairment or passing occurred and will remove guesswork as the date in which payment should or should have begun.