Seamen who are injured while at sea are entitled to maintenance and cure from their employers. Maintenance is a seaman's day-to-day living expenses. Cure is the seaman's medical costs. Employers are only obligated to pay maintenance and cure until the seaman is fit for duty, or until he has reached a point where additional medical treatment will not help him. See Calmar S.S. Corp. v. Taylor, 303 U.S. 525 (1938).
Employers' obligation to pay maintenane and cure arises from maritime common law. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (the Jones Act) provides seamen with additional protections. See Workers Compensation.