Can I Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits As An Undocumented Worker?
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act does not exclude coverage to undocumented workers who are injured on the job. An undocumented worker is entitled to medical treatment for their job injuries. In some cases, both transportation and a translator are provided for medical appointments. You may also be entitled to income benefits, depending on the circumstances of your case.
If you are an undocumented worker who has suffered a work injury, call Skibiel Law at 770-968-3445 or toll-free at 877-874-6650. We offer a free attorney consultation to answer your questions about workers’ compensation benefits. With convenient office locations in Jonesboro and Atlanta, we serve undocumented workers in the Metro Atlanta area and throughout Georgia.
When Are Undocumented Workers Entitled To Income Benefits?
Undocumented workers are also entitled to income benefits if their injury is disabling. Workers’ compensation income benefits are generally paid in these two situations:
- The treating physician states the injured worker should not work.
- The treating physician states the injured worker can return to light-duty work but the employer is unable to accommodate the light-duty restrictions.
The right to ongoing income benefits after an undocumented worker is released by the treating physician to light duty may be challenged. A recent Georgia case addressed whether an undocumented alien, released by the treating physician to light duty, could continue to receive weekly income benefits if they were legally unable to perform the light-duty job offered by the employer. In this case, the undocumented worker’s treating physician released them to light-duty work and the employer offered a light-duty job driving a delivery truck. The injured worker could not accept this job because they did not have a license and could not obtain a license because they entered the country illegally. Under the circumstances, the court held that the undocumented worker was not entitled to ongoing income benefits.
Georgia courts seem to be willing to allow payment of income benefits to an undocumented worker in a situation as discussed above, if the employer was aware of the injured worker’s undocumented status when they were hired.
The following information may be useful for a lawyer to help an injured worker obtain income benefits:
- Was there an actual hiring process?
- Did the undocumented worker simply show up at a jobsite and was provided work?
- If there was a hiring process, what, if any paperwork did the undocumented worker provide or sign?
- Was the employer made aware of the undocumented worker’s status before the injury occurred?
- Does this employer routinely employ undocumented workers?
Learn more: Who is responsible for paying my benefits?
For Help In Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits For An Undocumented Worker
If you are an undocumented worker, our lawyers will guide you through the entire legal process step by step to help you obtain benefits. Call attorney Mark A. Skibiel at 770-968-3445 or toll-free at 877-874-6650 to schedule a free consultation. Hablamos español.