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Can an Illegal Immigrant Receive Workers' Compensation in New York?

While Illegal immigrants do not have access to the full range of rights and privileges that a citizen, permanent resident, or visa holder has, they may be eligible for several federal and state benefits. For example, they may attend primary school, receive emergency medical services, and can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. In New York, every worker, including illegal immigrants, may be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they have been injured on the job.

According to the legal statutes regulating workers’ compensation, immigration status does not play a factor in determining compensation. This means that an illegal immigrant who suffers a work-related injury may receive the same compensation as other workers. Benefits can cover lost wages from missed work and costs related to medical expenses. While New York interprets the law to give all personnel coverage, not every state affords workers the same protections.

In New York, workers’ compensation benefits for illegal immigrants remain in place despite the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), passed in 1986. The IRCA prohibits companies from knowingly hiring individuals who are not able to legally work in the United States. In 2006, the issue was brought before a judge. In Balbuena v. IDR Realty, LLC, a court of appeals held that an injured worker’s immigration status does not preclude compensation for lost wages and injuries.

Additionally, the surviving family of an illegal immigrant who suffered a fatal workplace accident may be eligible to receive benefits. However, the situation can be complicated when families live abroad.

New York Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have suffered a work-related injury, it is critical to understand the rights and benefits available to you. It is likely that you have questions about your claim and at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP, we can help you to understand your options. Our NYC personal injury attorneys possess more than a century of collective experience and can work tirelessly to maximize the strength of your claim. When your future is on the line, call us and work with attorneys who have recovered $500+ million for clients.

You don’t pay unless we win your case. Call (646) 461-4009 or request your FREE consultation today!