Longshore Act Update

norman coleAs head of the SBH Longshore practice area, I publish a quarterly summary of recent LHWCA decisions (Benefits Review Board, Courts of Appeal, Supreme Court, and occasionally an ALJ decision). The most recent edition is available on our website, sbhlegal.com.

One of the most significant decisions in the last few months probably is the 9th Circuit’s decision in Price v. SSA, which held interest on past due compensation should be based on the one year T-bill rate, but it should be compounded annually, rather than paid as simple interest.

When interest is due on unpaid weekly payments, more interest is due on the first week past due than on the last week past due. There is a well known formula for calculating simple interest when each payment is past due for a different period, but calculating compound interest requires a different formula, which I have not yet obtained. I’m working on it and hope to have it figured out soon. In the meantime, I prepared an excel spreadsheet which calculates simple interest on each periodic payment until all periodic payments are paid, and then calculates compound interest on the full amount due, plus the accrued simple interest, until the award is paid. For example, if an ALJ ordered payment of $500 per week from January 1, 2010 to January 2011, and this was not paid until January 1, 2013, the spreadsheet would calculate simple (“sliding”) interest on each weekly payments due from January 1, 2010 to January 1, 2011 and then compound interest on the full amount, plus accrued simple interest as of January 1, 2011, until paid on January 1, 2013. It isn’t perfect, but it’s close, and it is easy to use. If you would like to receive a copy of the spreadsheet, please contact me at ncole@sbhlegal.com