M&C Pt.1: ‘Maintenance and Cure’ Defined


A special doctrine in the trinity of seamen's remedies serves crewmen who get injured or fall ill in the service of their vessel. You have probably heard of maintenance and cure benefits, but what do these terms mean? Maintenance and cure (M&C) are a basic right of any Jones Act seaman. Learn about your lawful rights and get the benefits you deserve in times of need.

What Is ‘Maintenance’?

Maintenance is a daily payment designed to compensate you essentially for the room and board you would have received during your hitch had the injury or illness not occurred.  It is a daily payment designed to provide you with compensation to pay for food and lodging while recovering at home. It is comparable to what you would have received aboard the vessel.

Maintenance is not related to expenses such as cell phone or car payments as it only serves to cover the necessities of running a household. Paying for gasoline is not a household expense, although your travel expenses incurred during treatment can be covered under cure. However, rent or mortgage payments are, so maintenance can cover those.

What Is ‘Cure’?

Cure is the vessel owner’s obligation to pay for your medical treatment. Your employer should take all the financial responsibility toward your medical treatment, which also includes the cost of transportation to a medical facility.

Some of the mentioned expenses may include:

  • emergency medical care
  • hospital bills
  • medications
  • surgery
  • physical therapy
  • medical equipment (e.g wheelchair).

Maintenance and cure benefits are owed until the point of what is called ‘maximum medical improvement’. What is so unique about M&C? Get to know the important points about this doctrine.