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Workers’ Compensation for Undocumented Workers

Man wears a hard hat on a construction site and considers his options with workers’ compensation for undocumented workers.

If you are an undocumented worker, you have rights when it comes to your employment, regardless of whether you are a U.S. citizen or not. When it comes to legally living and working in the U.S., workers are required to have a visa, green card, or other form of permission that allows this. A worker is considered undocumented if they were not born in the U.S., and are not a permanent resident of the U.S. or a U.S. citizen.

For undocumented workers who were injured on the job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If your injuries have made it impossible for you to continue working, contact a Cruz & Associates attorney for representation. Together, we’ll go over more specific details about workers’ compensation for undocumented workers, how it relates to your situation, and what we can do to obtain the compensation you deserve. You can schedule your free consultation to get started, but, in the meantime, here’s more insight into understanding how this process works.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation covers injuries that occur while performing regular job duties. It can include medical expenses, a portion of lost pay, and support for retraining if the injured party is unable to return to the former job.
An injury at work is a stressful experience, and being hurt while not knowing your rights can make this even harder. First off, you do not need to have medical insurance to receive workers’ compensation. Workers’ comp insurance is a different type of insurance provided by your employer. If you are hurt while at work or suffer from an illness as a direct result from your job, this is considered a workplace injury. It is covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.

Secondly, the laws regarding undocumented immigrants and workers’ compensation vary by state, but, in Georgia and Arizona, undocumented workers have nearly the same protections as any other injured worker.

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility by State

In Georgia and Arizona, undocumented workers are often employed in agricultural and construction industries, which are at higher risk for injuries and accidents on the job. Under federal law, undocumented workers are afforded the same protections as any other worker, regardless of work eligiblty. Your employer is not legally allowed to threaten retaliation or deportation in response to a worker’s comp claim, and you have rights regardless of what anyone else may try to tell you.

Arizona

According to A.R.S. § 23-901(6)(b) of Arizona law, an employee/worker is considered to be “every person in the service of any employer subject to this chapter, including aliens and minors legally or illegally allowed to work for hire.”
This means that if you are an undocumented worker with a valid work injury claim, you can apply for and receive workers’ compensation benefits in Arizona.

Arizona law does not prohibit these claims. In fact, if it’s not relevant to the injury or circumstances of the injury, injured employees may not be asked about their immigration status when seeking workers’ compensation.

Georgia

Similar to Arizona, Georgia code considers an employee to be “every person in the service of another under any contract of hire or apprenticeship, written or implied.” O.C.G.A § 34-9-1(2). This includes undocumented workers.
Disability benefits, medical treatment and more are available with workers’ compensation for undocumented workers in Georgia. Residency and immigration status will not affect that.

Speak with an Attorney in Spanish at Cruz & Associates

The bilingual workers’ compensation attorneys at Cruz & Associates have decades of experience assisting workers in Phoenix and Atlanta. Our legal team speaks Spanish and English, and we’ll help you receive the benefits to which you are entitled. To learn more about how our workers’ compensation attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve, contact Cruz & Associates today.

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