Why Undocumented Workers Have Difficulties Accessing Workers' Compensation Benefits

Many states allow undocumented workers to enjoy workers compensation benefits while others do not. Unfortunately, even in the states where undocumented workers can enjoy these benefits, few of them apply or succeed in claiming the benefits. There are numerous reasons for this anomaly, and they include:

Limitations Due to State Rules 

Some states have laws that specifically deny undocumented employees workers compensation benefits. A good example is Wyoming, whose Supreme Court ruled that anybody who isn't authorized to work in the United States doesn't fit the definition of an employee, and isn't entitled to workers compensation insurance.

Other states take the middle approach by allowing undocumented workers some benefits while denying them others. For example, an injured undocumented worker may be entitled to medical benefits and denied vocational rehabilitation or wage replacement benefits.

Difficulties with Health Care Providers

To a large extent, the success of a workers' compensation claim depends on the doctor treating the injured worker. It is the doctor who determines whether the worker was injured at work, whether their injuries cannot allow them to perform their regular duties, and when they have recovered enough to get back to work.

Unfortunately, migrant workers face numerous problems when it comes to accessing health care. Some of these problems include:

  • Lack of access to employer-provided health care services.
  • Transportation difficulties when seeking health care providers.
  • Poor English language skills, which makes it difficult to benefit from medical consultations.

Without proper medical care, it isn't easy to successfully claim workers compensation benefits.

Fear of Employer Retaliation

Workers compensation laws protect employees from their employers' retaliation when they file for workers compensation benefits. Unfortunately, this hasn't stopped employers from retaliating against employees who seek these benefits since they may raise insurance rates for employers. Forms of retaliation include non-renewal of contracts, failure to promote and even discharge.

Any employee can face this retaliation, but the situation is even worse for undocumented workers. These are people who are already living in fear of the authorities, so they would be reluctant to seek legal remedy when threatened by employers. Many undocumented workers would rather forgo the benefits that risk angering their employers or lose their jobs.

Are you an undocumented worker who was injured on the job? Do not assume that you aren't entitled to workers compensation benefits. The chances are high that you aren't properly acquainted with the laws of the state or even with federal laws relating to workers compensation for undocumented workers. To learn more, visit a website like http://www.hardeeandhardee.com