Monday, November 12, 2012

LS202

LS202  --   Never heard of this Longshore form?  Perhaps you or your clients need to know about it now or at least need a reminder.   Officially it is titled “Employer's First Report of Injury” – note carefully that first word “Employer’s”

“The LS202 is to be filed in duplicate with the District Director in the appropriate district office of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs within 10 days from the date of injury or death or from the date the employer first has knowledge of an injury or death….. Penalties may be charged for failure to comply with provisions of the law.”

“REPORTABLE INJURY – Any accidental injury which causes loss of one or more shifts of work or death allegedly arising out of and in the course of employment, including any occupational disease or infection believed or alleged to have arisen naturally out of compensation it must also file”

The responsibility for this lies with the insured.   This is common practice for Shipyards, Stevedores and the like who are used to Longshore claims.   But for those businesses who have few Longshore claims this can easily be forgotten.  The penalties are severe; the DOL has the ability to fine up to $11,000 PER CLAIMANT for this.   One insured whose Longshore exposure is a small part of their business, is being pursued for 7 such claims where they forgot to file and that bill could be as much as $77,000!

It simple to file online,  at http://www.dol.gov/owcp/dlhwc/ls-202.pdf or print it out and fax it (if you still have a fax).   But however you file, make sure your client keeps a proof of the filing so it the DOL misplace the form, you have proof you filed within the required period.

WATCH OUT THE FINES ARE COMING….   Send this notice to ALL your clients with Longshore exposure (even incidental) to make sure they know that the Longshore act makes this clearly their responsibility, not the insurance companies.

One other benefit is that filing the LS202 starts the statute running on the Longshore claim.  The employee has 12 months to file their Longshore claim once you have filed that form.    The only problem with this scenario is that typically if they have not filed their claim in a reasonable period of time, the DOL will likely write to the employee asking them if they want to file a Longshore claim.   Take advice from you Adjuster or Attorney on filing the form for this purpose based on the individual facts of that claim.

CARRIERS – a suggestion,  why not ask not only for a copy of the LS202, but the record of filing  not only will this help your ultimate customers, but also help in processing claims with the DOL.   Try, for example, applying for the DOL to approve a settlement on a claim on which they don’t even have a LS202.

I know that we all love forms – but the penalties for NOT filing this far outweigh the time it takes

Happy filing.

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