ISSUE: U.S. Department of Labor

Jack_crop 72dpiThe Longshore Act is administered by the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC), Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP), in the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

There are significant changes underway in the management of the Longshore Division.

Miranda Chiu has retired as Director, DLHWC. The Acting Longshore Director, effective March 15th, is Antonio Rios, formerly the Deputy Director, Division of Federal Employees Compensation.

Brandon Miller has left as Chief, Branch of Insurance and Financial Management, and has been replaced, effective March 25th, by Rich Stanton, formerly with Maher Terminals.

So, currently, who, what, and where is the DOL that administers the Longshore Act?

The DLHWC consists of a National Office in Washington, DC and eleven District Offices located around the country.

The National Office management staff consists of the Acting Director, Tony Rios, and the two Branch Chiefs, Eric Richardson and Rich Stanton, along with their respective staffs. Eric’s staff handles second injury fund applications, district office administration, regulatory drafting and interpretation, coordination of legal matters with the Office of the Solicitor, policy formulation, and procedural matters. Rich’s staff administers the Special Fund, bills and collects the industry assessment, authorizes insurance carriers and self-insurers, collects and maintains collateral deposits, administers assessment reporting and reserve audits, administers insolvency cases, enforces the insurance provisions of the Longshore Act, and participates in policy formulation. These are partial lists.

District offices provide medical management, informal dispute resolution, education and outreach, and claims administration services under the direction of District Directors.

Following is a list of Longshore district offices along with their respective state jurisdictions:

Boston – District Director David B. Groeneveld, States of CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, and DBA jurisdiction – east of the 75th degree west longitude, Newfoundland, and Greenland.

New York – District Director Richard V. Robilotti, States (and Territories) of NY, NJ, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and DBA – Mexico, Central and South America; areas east of the continents of North and South America to the 60th degree east longitude (including Iraq Afghanistan and Iran) and any other areas or locations not covered under any other district office

Baltimore – District Director Theresa Magyar, States of DE, DC, MD, PA, WV

Norfolk – District Director Theresa Magyar, State of VA

Jacksonville – District Director Charles Lee, States of AL, FL, GA, KY, NC, SC, TN

Houston – District Director David Widener, States of TX, OK, NM, IL, IN, IO, MI, MN, OH, WI, MO, NE, KS and DBA – Canada, west of the 75th degree and east of the 110th degree west longitude

New Orleans – District Director David A. Duhon, States of LA, AR, MS

San Francisco – District Director R. Todd Bruininks, States of CA (north of the northern boundaries of the counties of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino), AZ, NV

Honolulu – District Director R. Todd Bruininks, State of HI, and DBA – all areas west of the continents of North and South America to 60 degrees east longitude (excluding Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan)

Long Beach – District Director Marco Adame, State of CA (South of the northern boundaries of the counties of San Luis Obispo, Kern, and San Bernardino)

Seattle – District Director R. Todd Bruininks, States of AK, OR, WA, CO, ID, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY and DBA – Canada west of the 110th degree west longitude, and all areas in the Pacific Ocean north of the 45th degree north latitude

As you can see, National Office management is largely new, and there are several District Directors managing more than one office, so DOL is spread pretty thin right now.

Claims issues that cannot be resolved at the District Office level are referred for formal hearing to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) within DOL. Appeals from decisions at the OALJ go to the DOL’s Benefits Review Board (BRB).

The DLHWC management is evaluated and measured by how quickly the Program resolves claim disputes, and by how effectively it enforces key reporting and entitlement elements of claims, such as initial reporting of injuries by employers and timeliness of payments to injured workers.

For further information please visit the DLHWC website at www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc. There you will find a lot of useful information, such as Forms, FAQs, Procedure Guides, Benefit Guides, texts of the laws, as well as links to the OALJ and BRB websites.

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