If you’re ever injured at work, you may have a lot of concerns over how it can impact your finances. For those with immigration issues, this can be even more complex. We’ve seen people who are concerned about their immigration status wonder if that means they’re not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits at all. Let me make this very clear — your immigration status has nothing to do with the benefits you’re entitled to if you’re injured at work.
Workers’ compensation is a right for any and all workers in the United States. Your immigration status does not have any impact on what you’re entitled to in terms of compensation. It doesn’t matter whether you’re here legally or illegally. If you’re working in the United States and you’ve suffered an injury during work hours, you have rights. You are legally entitled to those rights, regardless of your citizenship status.
Often, illegal immigrants are afraid to file claims or protect their own legal rights. I want you to know that you should not be afraid to file a claim. You are legally entitled to benefits that can include medical treatment, temporary disability, compensation for a permanent disability, and even lifetime future medical benefits as they relate to the injury. The courts will not consider your immigration status when deciding what your fair compensation is for a work-related injury.
We see illegal immigrants who are afraid to file claims because other people have told them it would endanger their family and ability to stay in the country. Often these people mean well but don’t know the law. We’ve also seen people whose employers threaten them based on their immigration status. Those employers are breaking the law. You may even have a separate civil lawsuit for discrimination against any employer who threatens or intimidates you to dissuade you from pursuing workers’ compensation when you’re entitled to it.
If you’re an undocumented worker or are here illegally, you don’t need to be afraid. Whether you’re here legally or illegally, if you have questions about your workers’ compensation rights, please call our office. We’re here to help answer any questions you have and it’s strictly confidential.
There’s no reason to be afraid and every reason to protect your family’s financial future.