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Maintenance Rate Too Low? Injured Seamen May Be Able to Increase Their Benefit Rate

“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S. I want it straight up, with no double talk. I figure do also. I always use plain English, with no sugarcoating no B.S lawyer talk, and no double talk- just old fashioned, unsweetened, unvarnished truth-just the way that I would want it.” -Bill Turley

Jones Act Lawyer in San Diego Maintenance Rate Low - Bill Turley

My Best Advice

When handling your Jones Act case, you must always tell the truth. Nothing is more important then your credibility. If a judge assumes you are being dishonest, your case will be thrown out and you will be left with nothing. I have seen it happen to many people.

My Second Best Advice

Take the proper steps now, and do your research. Order my free book, Win your Injury Case: The Ultimate No B.S. Guide To Avoiding Insurance Company Tricks That Ruin Your Case [even before you hire a lawyer].

This book is loaded with TONS of information on winning your Jones Act Case.

Making Ends Meet

It’s been a month since your accident at sea, and you’re having trouble paying your day-to-day expenses. You’ve tried to cut costs as much as you could, but the maintenance salary you are collecting is just not enough to provide for your family. You’re not sure who to speak to about raising your pay—and it was such a huge hassle getting your employer to pay for the costs of your injury, you’re not sure you have another fight in you.

How Is My Daily Maintenance Rate Calculated?

Under the provisions of the Jones Act, injured marine workers collect a "maintenance rate" in lieu of their regular pay as long as they are receiving treatment for an injury. In most circuit courts, a worker’s daily maintenance rate is calculated by adding up his monthly expenses (house payment, water bills, gas and electricity, food, etc.) and dividing the total by the number of days in the month. This amount is meant to cover the worker’s usual expenses; usually there is no extra money provided.

Am I Allowed to Raise My Maintenance Rate?

There are many cases when the maintenance rate you have been given is no longer enough to meet your monthly costs. Here are just a few circumstances where a maintenance rate may be too low:

  • Union membership. Some union contracts have a separate daily maintenance rate that differs greatly from what you are entitled to under the Jones Act. There may be exceptions to this rule depending on where you live, so if you are a union seaman who is trying to survive on a reduced union maintenance rate, you should contact an attorney to find out what options are available to you.

  • Added expenses. Many injured workers do not take all of their expenses into account when documenting their costs. There may be some costs that are only paid every few months (such as home insurance or property taxes) or even once a year that can easily be overlooked, while new ones may be added due to life changes.

  • Unforeseen costs. Daily maintenance forces workers and their families to live on a tight budget, and if something goes wrong, they could be set back for weeks or even months. If a pipe bursts in your home, you will likely pay out-of-pocket for a plumber or a night in a hotel (at least until you can make an insurance claim), leaving precious little money left over for bills.

When it comes to increasing your daily maintenance rate, the most important thing you will need is proof of your expenses. You should be vigorously documenting every cost you have, and every payment you and your family make per month, and submit the information to your employer. If you have already done this and your employer has not increased your maintenance rate, you may be able to take action against him and win further compensation. Click the contact link on this page to tell us your story, and we will let you know what your next steps are. 

Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley

William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”

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