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Workers Compensation for Immigrants

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Can Non-US Citizens Receive Workers Compensation Benefits in New York? 

For most individuals who suffer work-related injuries, they can rest secure in the knowledge that they are at least eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. But for undocumented immigrants, a work-related injury can cause an added layer of anxiety. Many do not know whether they are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits and, even if they are, they worry that seeking those benefits could have unintended consequences. New York law, however, does not distinguish between citizens and undocumented immigrants for workers’ compensation purposes. Our Long Island workers compensation lawyers explain workers’ compensation for undocumented immigrants below. 

Undocumented Immigrants Are Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New York 

Undocumented immigrants in New York are eligible to receive (mostly) the same workers’ compensation benefits as anyone else. Under Article 2, Section 17 of New York’s workers’ compensation statute: 

Compensation under this chapter to aliens not residents or about to become nonresidents of the United States or Canada, shall be the same in amount as provided for residents, except that dependents in any foreign country shall be limited to surviving spouse and child or children, or, if there is no surviving spouse or child or children, to surviving father or mother whom the employee has supported, either wholly or in part, for the period of one year prior to the date of the accident. 

Thus, while death benefits are limited to the undocumented immigrant’s spouse and children, undocumented immigrants are not subject to reduced benefits in any way. 

Do You Need a Social Security Number to Apply for Worker’s Com? 

No, you do not need a social security number to apply for workers’ compensation in New York. However, you must avoid making any false statements during the course of the claims process, such as false statements about how your injury occurred, the severity of your injury, or whether you are working while you are disabled. 

What Benefits Are Available for Immigrants after a Workplace Accident? 

The workers’ compensation program provides three types of benefits to undocumented immigrants who suffer work-related injuries: medical benefits, cash benefits, and death benefits. 

  • Medical benefits: The program pays the full cost of the injured workers’ necessary medical treatment, so long as the treatment is obtained from an authorized provider 
  • Cash benefits: Cash benefits are available to offset losses incurred by the worker as a result of being physically unable to work. The weekly benefit is equal to two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage multiplied by the percentage of his or her disability (up to a certain maximum). 
  • Death benefits: If an undocumented worker dies from his or her injuries, death benefits are payable to his or her spouse and children. 

The workers’ compensation claim process is the same for undocumented immigrants as it is for other workers. 

Contact Our Long Island Workers Compensation Lawyers for More Information

If you are an undocumented immigrant who has suffered an injury on the job, you probably have plenty of questions and concerns, but an experienced attorney can help guide you through the process. For more information, please contact the Long Island workers compensation lawyers at Turley, Redmond and Rosasco by using our online form or calling 516-745-5666. We serve both New York City and Long Island, including Nassau County and Suffolk County.

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