Immigration and Benefits?
It is the law in North Carolina that all workers, even undocumented workers, have a right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Rivera v. Trapp, 135 N.C.App. 296, 519 S.E.2d 777 (1999).
What happens if an injured worker is not able to return to work because of their immigration status?
In North Carolina, if an undocumented worker was able to find work before their injury despite their immigration status, the assumption is that their injury is preventing them from a return to work, not their immigration status. Gayton v. Gage Carolina Metals, Inc., 149 N.C.App. 346, 351, 560 S.E.2d 870, 874 (2002).
If you have experienced a job-related injury that makes it impossible for you to return to work, your immigration status should not keep you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. If you can present proof that you cannot find a new job because of your injury, your employer will have to provide you with benefits even if your immigration status was a factor in your job search.
It is important to remember that worker’s compensation claims can be complex.
For more information about how we can help, please call Brian Elston Law at 828.575.9700 to schedule a consultation today.