Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | November 8, 2023
Workers’ compensation is a crucial safety net for employees across the United States, offering financial support and medical benefits to those injured or afflicted by job-related incidents. Yet, for many individuals, the question of how citizenship status influences their ability to access these vital resources looms large. Fortunately, injured employees, regardless of immigration status, can file for workers’ compensation.
At Hasner Law, we are dedicated to advocating for the rights and well-being of workers. Our team of experienced attorneys understands the nuances of Georgia workers’ compensation law and is committed to ensuring that everyone, irrespective of their citizenship status, receives the protection and benefits they deserve. Our legal experts are here to provide the guidance and support you need to navigate this complex system, secure your rights, and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.
Understanding How Immigration Status Affects Workers’ Comp Claims
In Georgia, most employers with three or more employees are required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance covers medical expenses and lost wages for workers injured or developing work-related illnesses, regardless of immigration status.
Citizenship status does not prevent a worker from filing a workers’ compensation claim or receiving benefits. Georgia law doesn’t discriminate against workers based on their immigration status. Both documented and undocumented workers are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. The state’s workers’ compensation system is designed to provide coverage to all eligible workers, regardless of their citizenship status. To be eligible for workers’ comp benefits, a worker generally needs to meet the following criteria:
- Employment status: The injured or ill worker must be an employee, as opposed to an independent contractor, to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Work-related injury or illness: The injury or illness must have occurred as a direct result of the worker’s job or work-related activities.
- Prompt reporting: The worker must report the injury or illness to their employer within 30 days of its occurrence, although immediate reporting is encouraged.
- No intentional self-harm: Workers who intentionally cause their injuries are typically not eligible for benefits.
It’s essential to note that Georgia courts have repeatedly ruled that immigration status is not a valid factor to consider in workers’ compensation cases. Undocumented workers are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits just like any other employee. The rationale behind this decision is that workers’ compensation benefits are intended to protect all employees who are injured on the job, regardless of their immigration status. Denying these benefits based on citizenship would not only be discriminatory but also counterproductive to the overall goal of the workers’ compensation system.
Contact Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
The issue of citizenship status should never deter an injured worker from pursuing their rightful benefits under Georgia’s workers’ compensation system. The state’s legal framework is clear and unequivocal in its commitment to providing protection and support to all eligible employees, regardless of their immigration status. Understanding these protections and advocating for one’s rights is essential, and Hasner Law stands ready to assist. With years of experience and a deep commitment to justice, we are dedicated to ensuring that every worker receives the compensation and care they deserve.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to Hasner Law. Our team of knowledgeable attorneys is here to provide the support and legal expertise you require. Contact Hasner Law today to schedule a consultation by calling (678) 928-8784 or completing our contact form.