Can Undocumented Workers Receive Compensation After a Workplace Injury?

According to the Pew Research Center, there were approximately 11 million undocumented workers in the United States in 2014. You probably know a few undocumented workers and might even work alongside them.

As you know, when a worker is injured on the job, he or she is entitled to receive workers’ compensation to cover his or her medical bills and lost wages while he or she is out of work to recover. But, in order to be entitled to this coverage, the worker must be an employee of the company. Independent contractors and individuals who work “under the table” generally cannot receive workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. However, undocumented workers in New York have can recover workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job.

Immigration Status has No Bearing on Recovering Workers’ Compensation

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court gave states the right to individually determine whether undocumented workers could receive workers’ compensation. In New York, along with other states such as Ohio, one’s immigration status does not affect his or her ability to recover compensation for injuries sustained on the job. Undocumented workers have this right despite the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibiting undocumented individuals from working in the United States.

Undocumented workers are entitled to recover all of the same workers’ compensation benefits that United States citizens and naturalized aliens are permitted to recover. These include compensation for medical bills and cash benefits to cover lost wages. These benefits are detailed on the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s website.

Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Individuals who are injured on the job must notify their supervisors of their injuries as soon as possible. An employer must be notified of an employee’s injury in writing within 30 days of the accident. If 30 days pass from the date of an accident, the worker might not be able to recover compensation.

Once a worker notifies his or her employer of an accident, the employer must report it to its workers’ compensation provider within 10 days. This is why communication between yourself, your attorney, and your employer is critical when you have been injured in a workplace accident. You need to coordinate the forms you submit to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board and your workers’ compensation insurance provider. Your attorney can help you by making sure your claim stays on track.

Work with a New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

For answers to your questions about seeking and receiving workers’ compensation in New York and help drafting your claim or negotiating with your workers’ compensation provider, contact The Law Office of Robert A. Koenigsberg to schedule your free legal consultation with an experienced New York workers’ compensation lawyer. If you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation, you are entitled to a fair settlement. Work with a lawyer who can help you get the money you deserve.

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