Being injured at work often brings concerns about loss of wages and your future earning potential. For workers with immigration issues, the worry becomes more complex.
Workers with various immigration issues are often told that they are not eligible for workers’ comp, or that filing for it can compromise their future. This is untrue.
Can immigrants file for workers’ comp?
Workers’ compensation is a right afforded to every worker in the United States, regardless of immigration or citizenship status.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are in this country legally or illegally. If you are working in the United States and you suffer an injury on the job, you can file for workers’ compensation.
What benefits can you receive?
Like all workers, you are legally eligible for medical care, temporary disability pay, compensation for a permanent disability, and lifetime medical benefits for the injury. The courts do not consider immigration status when deciding fair compensation for a work-related injury.
Can you or your family risk deportation for filing workers’ comp?
Illegal immigrants are sometimes afraid to file for workers’ comp because well-meaning people have told them it would endanger their family and ability to stay in the country. They do not know the law.
What if your employer threatens you based on your immigration status?
Employers who issue threats based on immigration status are breaking the law. You may have grounds for a civil lawsuit if your employer threatens or intimidates you in order to deny you workers’ compensation when you’re entitled to it.
Anyone who works in the United States can file for workers’ compensation regardless of immigration status.