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

Construction WorkersA significant number of construction workers throughout the United States are undocumented citizens. Whether due to financial or legal reasons, thousands of immigrants have had a difficult time securing work visas or permanent residency. Make no mistake, however, all undocumented workers are afforded the same rights and protections as anyone else when they step foot onto a construction site. Despite the fact that they may be working illegally, all employees are entitled to a reasonably safe work environment—which, in turn, means that an undocumented worker would still have the right to pursue compensation if they were negligently injured on the job.

Protection For Illegal Immigrants in NYC

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.

Contact Our New York Personal Injury Attorneys - 646.461.4009

Unfortunately, most undocumented workers are afraid to pursue the level of compensation that they deserve; however, it should be known that you can safely retain the help of a New York construction accident lawyer from Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP if you, as an illegal citizen, have been injured in a workplace accident. We have handled several cases of this nature, and not one of our clients has ever been deported or arrested in lieu of filing a personal injury claim. For this reason, you should not hesitate to exercise the rights that you have earned. You can trust that you will be in good hands when you come to our firm for help, as we will do whatever it takes to recover the damages that you are owed. You don’t pay unless we win your case.

Call (646) 461-4009 or request your FREE consultation today!