Compensation Rights for Immigrants in Californiametzadmin
Compensation Rights for Immigrants in California
The current uproar with President Trump and the immigration policy that is being developed by the United States has caused great consternation and fear in the immigrant population in the United States especially in California. Many individuals here have the appropriate paperwork like a Green Card and are lawfully allowed to be in the United States. Many of people in California are not so privilege and are here in the United States without actual legality or legal papers. I wish to discuss how a work related injury can affect you in California. I’d like to explain how an immigrant, whether here legally or illegally, who suffers an injury in the State of California is entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The basic regulations and rules of Workers’ Compensation in California indicate that if an individual suffers a work related injury (an injury on the job) they are entitled to benefits according to the laws of the State of California. This means that whether you are legally in the United States or not, you are entitled to benefits for having suffered a work related injury.
Many people are afraid to seek the advice of an attorney especially if they are not lawfully in the United States because of what they perceive are problems that could occur with immigration. In California, that is not an issue. It has long been established by court litigation and cases that individuals who are in this country lawfully and/or illegally are entitled to the same Workers’ Compensation benefits. The benefit is based upon your earnings at the time of your work related injury and it’s two thirds of the average weekly/monthly salary. In addition, you are entitled to medical treatment because of the injury if you have not recovered fully to what we call Permanent Disability. In certain cases, individuals may also be entitled to retraining costs to help them get into a new job or occupation.
The Permanent Disability is based upon the degree of the residual problem(s) that an individual has. In filing cases at the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, Social Security numbers are used but it’s the last 4 digits only. In certain cases, the Social Security number is simply blocked out. That does not give rise to any kind of immigration problem or notice. The case law in California has indicated that the illegal and legal immigrant to the United States is entitled to the same Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The only difference is that for the illegal immigrants, if the Workers’ Compensation benefits are used up then it is difficult for the illegal immigrant to obtain State Disability Benefits or Social Security Benefits because of their immigrant status. Aside from that, the illegal immigrants have the rights for medical treatment, permanent disability, temporary disability and payment for medical problems that have arisen because of the work related injury.
Do not be afraid to contact an attorney to discuss these issues. You do not have to file a claim or have an attorney. But it is a good idea to talk to an attorney so you can obtain your rights that you have in the State of California for having suffered a work related injury. Work related injuries can be varying and different depending upon the nature of your work and medical problem. An attorney can assist you in discussing what those benefits are and what the medical problem is to direct you to the appropriate treating physician in the Workers’ Compensation system.
Many individuals are concerned that their employer may report them if they suffered an injury. This is a myth. Understand that if an employer has hired an illegal immigrant in the United States, most employers are aware of this when they do it; they are equally liable for fees/costs by the Federal Government. They have knowledge and understand the laws which indicate that they are supposed to only hire lawful immigrants or citizens for employment. But they often know that the individual may not be lawfully in the United States and they hired that individual which makes them liable for costs/fees as well as being shut down by the government for having hired unlawful immigrants. So when you are confronted by the employer with this issue then understand that you have certain rights. You must understand that the employer can be fined, potentially jailed and have their business shut down. Especially, if it can be proved that they knowingly hired an unlawful immigrant to the United States.
If you have such an issue or wish to discuss the matter with an attorney, please feel free to contact our offices. There is no charge for contacting our offices and discussing your potential issues. We have the ability to have and work with immigration layers. If that is the issue then you should contact our office and we can assist you.