Workers’ compensation is a system in the United States and many other countries that provide benefits to employees who are injured or become ill as a result of their job. The program is usually administered by state governments as part of social welfare programs and, in most cases, workers’ compensation covers only injuries or illnesses that are job-related.
However, when it comes to immigrants, the issue of workers’ compensation coverage can be a bit more complicated. Let’s take a closer look at the question “Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Immigrants?”
Depending on the state
Workers’ compensation coverage is typically provided to any non-citizen employee who works legally in the United States under a valid work visa. Because of this, immigrants may be covered depending on their status as legal or undocumented workers.
However, some states may have different laws or regulations when it comes to providing workers’ compensation coverage for undocumented immigrants. For example, New York State recently passed a law in 2020 that requires all employers to provide workers’ compensation coverage for undocumented immigrants. Read more here about laws in Virginia, and what you can do to protect your rights as an employee. On the other hand, some states may not provide workers’ compensation coverage to undocumented immigrants at all.
Costs of workers’ compensation for immigrants
Workers’ compensation premiums will vary depending on the state and individual circumstances. For example, some states require employers to pay a higher premium if they employ undocumented workers, while other states do not differentiate between documented and undocumented employees.
Additionally, the cost of providing such coverage may be lower in states with higher premiums for undocumented workers, as the rate may be based on the number of employees.
Total Workers’ Compensation Coverage
When it comes to workers’ compensation coverage for immigrants, the most important factor is usually total coverage. This means that regardless of whether an employee is a legal or undocumented immigrant, they should still be eligible for coverage if they are injured on the job.
In many states, employers are required to provide a minimum amount of coverage for all employees, regardless of their status. This means that if you are an immigrant who is injured on the job, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits even if you do not have legal status in the United States.
What to do if you’re an immigrant and injured at work
If you are an immigrant who has been injured on the job, it is important to seek legal help as soon as possible. A lawyer or advocate can help clarify your rights and provide guidance on how to proceed with filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Additionally, they can also assist in determining whether you are eligible for certain state benefits, such as medical and rehabilitation expenses.
The answer to the question is that it depends on the circumstances and laws of your particular region. If you are an immigrant worker who has been injured on the job, it is important to seek legal advice to determine if you are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage. It is also important to understand the laws that apply in your state, as well as any federal regulations governing workers’ compensation coverage for immigrants.
With understanding and advocacy, injured immigrant workers may be able to get the help they need.