Undocumented workers have the same rights to workers’ compensation coverage for work injuries as any other employee.
Some companies disregard so-called “illegal immigrants” injured at work.
But the mere fact that someone might be regarded as an “illegal immigrant” does not affect that person’s rights when injured at work.
We understand that undocumented workers deserve to be heard and treated with respect and concern when they are injured.
They can still make a claim for NC workers’ comp benefits.
Unfortunately, many people think that undocumented workers’ rights disappear when entering the country without proper documentation. But that’s not true.
According to the American Immigration Council, one in nine North Carolina workers is an immigrant.
This makes up a large percentage of the state’s workforce.
In fact, immigrant workers made up 11% of the workforce in 2018, totaling 548,197 immigrant workers. Of this workforce, 39% are undocumented workers, totaling some 325,000 people.
With the help of the North Carolina undocumented employee workers’ comp lawyers at Mehta & McConnell, we can make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive the benefits you deserve.
Contact us today to get started!
What NC Workers’ Comp Benefits Do Undocumented Workers Get?
NC workers’ comp benefits available to undocumented workers are the same as any other employee working in North Carolina.
If you are injured while on the clock at work, you’re entitled to receive medical benefits and wage loss benefits.
Those benefits will continue until you fully recover and return to work with no restrictions.
Temporary total disability (TTD) is when you are temporarily totally disabled from your pre-injury job.
The wage benefits for workers’ compensation for undocumented immigrants for TTD will be two-thirds of the average weekly gross wages.
Gross wages are the amount of money you get before taxes are taken out. Temporary partial disability (TPD) is when you are injured but can return to light duty.
However, because you’re on light duty, you’ll probably be earning less than pre-injury.
The wage benefits you receive under TPD will be two-thirds of the difference between your pre-injury average weekly gross wages and the current average wages you’re receiving on light duty.
There are also categories of damages for permanent partial disability and total and permanent disability.
These cover workplace injuries for undocumented workers who suffer from serious and permanent injuries.
What Benefits Are Not Included In Workers’ Comp for the Undocumented?
In some comp cases, a vocational counselor may help a worker obtain educational training to change careers.
In some instances, with an injured undocumented worker, a vocational counselor may not be able to work with them.
Also, the workers’ comp insurance company has other defenses when the injured worker is undocumented.
The injured undocumented worker who is permanently disabled might argue that they can’t return to work because of the injury.
But the workers’ comp insurance company may argue that their undocumented status prevents them from work, not the disability.
How Will We Protect Your Immigration Status?
Many injured undocumented workers do not seek the medical and wage benefits they deserve because they may not know they’re entitled to the same NC workers’ comp benefits as every other injured worker gets.
Also, many undocumented workers fear that if they make a claim for benefits, their immigration status may be reported to the authorities, and they may be detained and ultimately deported.
We want to assure our clients that their immigration status is protected at our firm, and we focus our law practice on protecting our clients’ confidentiality.
Your verbal and written communications with our lawyers and staff are strictly confidential. The attorney-client privilege protects all your communications and dealings with our firm.
If we violate that privilege, we can get ourselves into trouble and potentially have our license to practice law suspended.
Therefore, we cannot and will not disclose your or your loved one’s immigration status.
Furthermore, the insurance company and its attorney are ethically prohibited from disclosing your immigration status to ICE or other law enforcement agencies.
However, we do want you to understand that your employer has no limitations and may terminate your employment if they discover your immigration status as an undocumented worker.
Contact a North Carolina Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today
We understand the intricacies and implications of being an undocumented worker.
Our goal is to protect our clients and fight for their rights to receive the same NC workers’ comp benefits as any other NC employee, regardless of their immigration status.
We understand what it takes to win the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about how we can assist you.