Here are some very interesting facts and case summaries regarding payment of compensation a DBA or Longshore case coming directly from the Longshore Deskbook from the Benefits Review Board. The Longshore Desk Book is a searchable website which is a public record. According to the Longshore Deskbook:

Section 14 of the Act contemplates an orderly system for the payment of compensation for injured employees whereby the employer either makes timely voluntary payments of compensation or gives timely notice that the right to compensation is controverted.

The courts have stated that the Act is designed to encourage payment of compensation by employers voluntarily and without the need to resort to formal adversary proceedings. Universal Terminal & Stevedoring Corp. v. Parker, 587 F.2d 608, 9 BRBS 326 (3d Cir. 1978). Thus, employer bears the burden of bringing disputes to the attention of the agency through the notice of controversion. That notice brings the administrative process into play, setting into motion the district director’s (formerly deputy commissioner’s) formal claim resolution procedures. Id. See 20 C.F.R. §702.252. An employer which fails to timely pay or controvert a claim is subject to an additional 10 percent assessment. 33 U.S.C. §914(e).

Once a formal Order awarding benefits is issued, employer must pay the award promptly; failure to do so adds an additional 20 percent to unpaid benefits. 33 U.S.C. §914(f).

Section 14 also provides for a credit for advance payments of compensation against the benefits ultimately found due. 33 U.S.C. §914(j).

Section 14(a) – (c)

Section 14(a) provides that compensation shall be paid “periodically, promptly, and directly” to the employee, without an award, except where liability for compensation is controverted by the employer. 33 U.S.C. §914(a); 20 C.F.R. §702.231. Section 14(a) does not require that employer pay compensation pending a hearing on a controverted claim, and thus, it serves as a protection for employers who would otherwise be faced with attempting to recoup compensation from workers who later are found not to be entitled to compensation. Sample v. Johnson, 16 BRBS 146(CRT) (W.D. Wash. July 27, 1984), rev’d on other grounds, 771 F.2d 1335, 18 BRBS 1(CRT) (9th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1019 (1985).

Section 14(b) provides that the first installment of compensation becomes due on the 14th day after employer has been notified pursuant to Section 12 or after employer has knowledge of an injury or death. See Sections 12(d)(1), 14(e) for further discussion of “knowledge.” Thereafter installments shall be paid semi-monthly unless the deputy commissioner determines they shall be paid monthly or otherwise. See 20 C.F.R. §702.232; Baldwin v. Healy-Cruse, 6 BRBS 418 (1977). Payments made to an employee under a non-occupational health insurance plan are not compensation for the purposes of Section 14(b). Pardee v. Army & Air Force Exchange Serv., 13 BRBS 1130 (1981).

Section 14(c) provides that upon either making the first payment or suspending payment for any cause, employer shall immediately notify the deputy commissioner, in accordance with a form prescribed by the Secretary. See Form LS-206, Payment of Compensation without Award; Form LS-208, Notice of Final Payment or Suspension of Compensation Payments.

If you are a contractor who has been injured on the job while working overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan or on any military base across the world, your case is covered by the Defense Base Act which is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. At the Law Offices of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A., our qualified defense base act lawyers have a combination of over 43 years of experience in representing injured workers covered by the Defense Base Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Let us put our years of experience and our reputation to work for you today! Contact us today at mail@gmpcomplaw.com, or go on our website at www.dbalawyers.com and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.

If you have a question about the payment of compensation or any other question in your DBA or Longshore case, contact our qualified defense base act attorneys today at mail@gmpcomplaw.com, or go on our website at www.dbalawyers.com and fill out our form on the contact us page, or call us at 305 595 3350.

Clifford R. Mermell, Esq.

Clifford R. Mermell, Esq., created the law firm of Gillis, Mermell & Pacheco, P.A. on March 1, 1996. Mr. Mermell has been the senior and managing partner of the firm since its creation. The firm was created to champion the rights of injured workers nationwide. It represents cases under the Worker’s Compensation, Wrongful Termination, Personal Injury, Admiralty and Maritime, Defense Base Act, and Longshore & Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act Laws.


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