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Can immigrant workers receive compensation after an injury?

From construction sites to health care settings, U.S. immigrants work hard to support their families in many different types of jobs. And, like other workers, they may risk serious injury on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, many immigrants do not know that they may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits if injured on the job, regardless of citizenship status.

What types of workers may be eligible?

In New York, both documented and undocumented employees may receive workers’ comp benefits if they experience a job-related injury or illness. This may be true even if the worker is a part-time employee or an independent contractor, or if he or she accepts cash payments “off the books”.

What types of benefits are available?

Workers may be able to receive compensation for medical treatments related to their injury as well as weekly payments to make up for a portion of lost wages if they cannot return to work. If a job incident results in death, a surviving spouse or dependent children may also be able to receive needed support.

What other options are available for injured employees?

In some cases, workers’ compensation may not be enough to cover the full cost of an injury. Employees whose injury and/or resulting disability occurred due to another party’s negligence may want to pursue a personal injury claim as well as a workers’ comp claim.

In addition to payment for medical bills, lost wages and other expenses, an injured worker filing a personal injury suit may be able to receive compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by unsafe work conditions, faulty equipment or the negligent actions of another party.

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