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§ 1291. Rights of American seamen on privately owned and operated American vessels extended to seamen employed through the War Shipping Administration; exceptions; definitions

(a) Officers and members of crews (hereinafter referred to as “seamen”) employed on United States or foreign flag vessels as employees of the United States through the War Shipping Administration [1] shall, with respect to
(1) laws administered by the Public Health Service and the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.], as amended by subsection (b)(2) and (3) of this section;
(2) death, injuries, illness, maintenance and cure, loss of effects, detention, or repatriation, or claims arising therefrom not covered by the foregoing clause (1); and
(3) collection of wages and bonuses and making of allotments, have all of the rights, benefits, exemptions, privileges, and liabilities, under law applicable to citizens of the United States employed as seamen on privately owned and operated American vessels. Such seamen, because of the temporary wartime character of their employment by the War Shipping Administration, shall not be considered as officers or employees of the United States for the purposes of the United States Employees Compensation Act, as amended [5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq.]; the Civil Service Retirement Act, as amended [5 U.S.C. 8331 et seq.]; the Act of Congress approved March 7, 1942 (Pub. Law 490, Seventy-seventh Congress) or the Act entitled “An Act to provide benefits for the injury, disability, death, or detention of employees of contractors with the United States and certain other persons or reimbursement therefor”, approved December 2, 1942 (Public Law 784, Seventy-seventh Congress) [42 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.]. Claims arising under clause (1) hereof shall be enforced in the same manner as such claims would be enforced if the seaman were employed on a privately owned and operated American vessel. Any claim referred to in clause (2) or (3) hereof shall, if administratively disallowed in whole or in part, be enforced pursuant to the provisions of the Suits in Admiralty Act [46 U.S.C. 30901 et seq.], notwithstanding the vessel on which the seaman is employed is not a merchant vessel within the meaning of such Act [said sections]. Any claim, right, or cause of action of or in respect of any such seaman accruing on or after October 1, 1941, and prior to the date of enactment of this section [Mar. 24, 1943] may be enforced, and upon the election of the seaman or his surviving dependent or beneficiary, or his legal representative to do so shall be governed, as if this section had been in effect when such claim, right, or cause of action accrued, such election to be made in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by the Administrator, War Shipping Administration. Rights of any seaman under the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.], as amended by subsection (b)(2) and (3), and claims therefor shall be governed solely by the provisions of such Act, so amended. When used in this subsection the term “administratively disallowed” means a denial of a written claim in accordance with rules or regulations prescribed by the Administrator, War Shipping Administration. When used in this subsection the terms “War Shipping Administration” and “Administrator, War Shipping Administration” shall be deemed to include the United States Maritime Commission with respect to the period beginning October 1, 1941, and ending February 11, 1942, and the term “seaman” shall be deemed to include any seaman employed as an employee of the United States through the War Shipping Administration on vessels made available to or subchartered to other agencies or departments of the United States.
(b)
(1) Omitted [Amendment of section 1426 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939].
(2) Omitted [Amendment of section 209 of the Social Security Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 409)].
(3) Omitted [Amendment of section 907 of the Social Security Act Amendments of 1939 (53 Stat. 1402)].
(c) The War Shipping Administration and its agents or persons acting on its behalf or for its account may, for convenience of administration, with the approval of the Administrator, make payments of any taxes, fees, charges, or exactions to the United States or its agencies.


[1] See Transfer of Functions note below.
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