Under maritime law, a Washington State Ferry employee who is a member of the crew of a ferry is entitled to maintenance and cure if they are injured or become ill while in the service of the vessel. You are entitled to coverage if the condition manifest or was aggravated while in the service of the ferry. Under some circumstances, you may be entitled to maintenance and cure even if you are not on the vessel. Some commutes to work are covered, passage through WSF property or property adjacent to the dock are covered, or other situations where your activities have a benefit to your employer. If you are not sure if you are covered, contact an experienced maritime lawyer to discuss the facts of your specific situation. Maintenance and cure is a broad entitlement under maritime law and any doubts must be resolved in favor of coverage for the seaman. Your employer may be subject to penalties or damages for failure to promptly and properly pay maintenance and cure.
Maintenance is a daily stipend or payment while you receive curative medical treatment for your condition. The amount of your maintenance entitlement is set by the collective bargaining agreement with your union and the WSF.
Medical cure is the cost of medical treatment reasonably required to address your injury or illness. You are entitled to select your own doctors and medical providers. Your employer cannot withhold medical cure if you refuse to see a doctor or medical provider selected by WSF. You are also entitled to a second opinion if you are considering medical options.