Southern Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Mankato, MN
Undocumented workers fill the work roster in a number of industries in southern Minnesota. However, as they are not legal employees this makes them feel as though they are not entitled to any rights as a worker. If they get hurt at work, the undocumented worker feels like they have no benefits afforded to them like a worker and U.S. resident would.
Furthermore, with the current political backlash against immigrants in the United States, injured undocumented workers may also worry that reporting a work injury opens them up to more problems later through potential retaliation.
Can Undocumented Workers Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
Minnesota is among many states that have allowed for undocumented workers to qualify for workers’ compensation despite their status. Even though you are here illegally and working in an unofficial capacity, if you have been hurt at work, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Furthermore, under the workers’ compensation system, you are entitled to certain protections, such as a protection from retaliatory firing for getting injured or filing for workers’ compensation.
Unfortunately, many undocumented workers are concerned about making waves with their employer so they just endure debilitating workplace injuries, paying for care out of their own pocket or forgoing it altogether that leads to permanent disability.
Even if injured undocumented workers do file a workers’ compensation claim, as is in their right, they may not fight back against employer retaliation because they don’t think they have a legal right to. However, even without a valid visa, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits and protection from employer retaliatory action.
Special Considerations for Workers’ Compensation Involving Undocumented Workers
While it strongly benefits all workers to contact a workers’ compensation attorney when they are hurt at work, it is even more important when you are an undocumented worker. The workers’ compensation process is complicated in even the simplest circumstances, but when you are undocumented, it adds another layer of complexity that you shouldn’t navigate alone.
The primary benefit of a workers’ compensation attorney to any worker is that they can help you navigate this almost needlessly complex area of the law. Many forms have to be in by specific deadlines, doctors visits need to be documented appropriately, and injuries will need their due proof. With their help, they can keep your case on track, and they become even more necessary if English is not your first language as well since legal documentation is rarely written in simple terms.
One final special consideration that needs to be kept in mind by undocumented workers’ filing for workers’ compensation is you are entitled to benefits like coverage for your medical bills, but may not qualify for some other benefits. For example, if you are paid under the table, you wage loss benefits may be more difficult to calculate since you may not have valid pay stubs to calculate your average weekly wage. Furthermore, since you are undocumented, you may not be entitled to job retraining benefits if you cannot return to work due to your injury. Your attorney can help you file for every benefit you qualify for so that you get as much coverage as possible from workers’ compensation.
Contact The Attorneys at Harvey & Carpenter in Mankato, Minnesota
Are you an injured worker in southern Minnesota? Undocumented or otherwise you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your work injury. It is complicated to decide whether to pursue a workers’ compensation claim in Minnesota if you are undocumented.
However, to discuss your situation in person – and confidentially – please contact Harvey & Carpenter for a free consultationat 507-779-7529. As your attorneys, we are obligated to keep your information confidential and not disclose it to anyone without your permission. Workers’ compensation can be a difficult process, but well worth it.