New York is a common destination for immigrants to the United States. At one time, most European immigrants came through Ellis Island and would then end up living in New York. The Big Apple is famous for being the city where countless people have started their lives in a new country. Even today, New York is a city of immigrants.

Some of these individuals working for New York businesses may not have all of the necessary legal paperwork to protect their status in the United States. All too often, individuals with questionable immigration status fail to understand their rights under United States law. Knowing these rights is critical, because employers may attempt to take advantage of that lack of knowledge.

Any worker who gets hurt on a job in New York should still have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits apply to individuals regardless of their immigration status. In other words, you and your family have certain legal protections in place if you get hurt on the job.

Workers’ compensation can help you pay the bills and get medical care

There are a variety of benefits available to injured workers under New York’s workers’ compensation program. The two most critical benefits are typically disability payments and medical coverage.

Disability payments help replace your wages until you can return to work. You will receive a portion of your average weekly wage, up to a state maximum. In the case of permanent disability, these payments can provide your family with a base level of income for the future.

Workers will also have coverage that allows them to access the medical care that they need. Unlike private insurance, workers’ compensation health coverage does not have any kind of deductible, copay or coinsurance.

Families with low incomes may not be able to close the gap between what insurance covers and what care actually costs.

Having someone advocate for you can make the process less frightening

Even if you understand your legal rights, standing up for them can still be a frightening experience. You may have worried that your employer will attempt to retaliate against you for trying to obtain benefits. In the past, there have been cases where insurance companies have tried to deny benefits to undocumented workers. However, New York courts side with the workers in these situations.

It’s also natural to worry about the potential for deportation if you take any sort of legal action. You shouldn’t have to fear for your safety or the well-being of your family because you suffered an injury at work. Working with an attorney who understands workers’ compensation laws in New York can help you proceed with confidence in connecting with the benefits that you need after a workplace injury.