Workers’ compensation benefits have been around for decades. Almost everyone knows that employers in California have to carry insurance to protect their workers in case they get hurt on the job or acquire some kind of work-related illness. Despite workers’ compensation benefits being common knowledge, there are a lot of myths and lies told about these benefits.
Some people spread this information because they don’t know better. Sometimes, employers outright lie to their workers to deter them from claiming benefits. One of the most persistent myths about workers’ compensation benefits is that they are only available to citizens or documented workers.
People who have worked for years may think that they don’t qualify for benefits because of their immigration status. Learning more about the California workers’ compensation system can help you get the benefit you deserve.
Your immigration status does not affect your benefit rights
The right to workers’ compensation does not come from someone’s citizenship. Your country of origin does not matter. What determines your eligibility for workers’ compensation is your employment status.
Companies have to insure their workers regardless of their immigration status. Employers should pay their coverage premium based on the number of workers they employ and the degree of risk in the workplace. The national origin of the worker shouldn’t affect their insurance costs or the worker’s right to coverage.
When an immigrant worker gets hurt, they have the same benefits rights as a citizen employee. They have the right to medical treatment. They also have the right to translation services if they need them in medical settings. If they require time off of work to recover, they can also receive disability benefits. Those hurt so badly that they can’t go back to work may even qualify for permanent disability benefits.
Immigrant employees may need support when claiming benefits
Even lifelong citizens can feel nervous about filing for workers’ compensation benefits. Immigrant workers and those without documentation may require assistance to apply.
Having an attorney assisting you while you apply for benefits and advocating for your rights can help you avoid retaliation from your employer and other unfair treatment. Asserting your right to workers’ compensation should not affect your employment status or your living arrangements here in the United States. Knowing this can help you protect yourself when claiming workers’ compensation benefits.