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Immigrants and Undocumented Workers

Workers’ Compensation for Immigrants and Undocumented Workers in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, any worker who is injured on the job and unable to work may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Recently, however, the Ohio state legislature has tried to limit these benefits to those with documented immigration status. A formal attempt failed in 2017, but in June 2019, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation budget bill was approved, which included an amendment requiring workers to declare their citizenship status. 

For many immigrant and undocumented workers, this has, no doubt, been a source of much anxiety. If you’ve been injured on the job and are unable to work, a Columbus immigrant workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the claim process so that you can get the benefits you deserve regardless of your citizenship status

The Limits of Federal Law in Undocumented Ohio Workers’ Compensation Claims

Federal law requires employers to verify the immigration status of their employees. Employers who fail to do so are subject to penalties. However, federal law does not address the employer’s obligation to provide workers’ compensation, because that is typically under the jurisdiction of state law. As a result, if your employer has failed to verify your immigration status or it has changed, federal law has no bearing on your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your injuries. 

Filing a Claim in Ohio as an Undocumented Immigrant Worker

Claimants in Ohio are required to reveal their citizenship status on their workers’ compensation claim application. While this does not disqualify you from being eligible, there are penalties for falsifying information on your application. An experienced immigrant workers’ compensation lawyer at Malek & Malek Law Firm can help you navigate this challenging process without exposing yourself to legal jeopardy. We recognize that undocumented workers are the most vulnerable workforce in the community and we are committed to helping you apply for the benefits you need after a workpace injury.

Your call to Malek Law Firm is free and confidential. We are happy to explain your rights and comment on your unique and individual circumstances. 

What Workers’ Compensation Covers for Immigrants Hurt at Work

Workers’ compensation is a benefit provided to any employee who is unable to work due to an illness or injury suffered on the job. If you are unable to return to work within a few days, you may be entitled to the following benefits: 

  • Wage benefits that cover two-thirds of your weekly wages up to $980.00;
  • Medical benefits to cover all necessary and reasonable medical expenses related to your injury or illness. 

These benefits are available to cover almost any injury or illness you have suffered while completing your essential job duties: 

  • Broken bones
  • Torn ligaments and tendons
  • Burns and electrocutions
  • Injuries due to overexertion
  • Illness and disease due to exposure to toxic substances
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Back and spinal cord injuries

Helping Undocumented and Immigrant Workers Get Workers’ Compensation in Columbus

Immigrant and undocumented workers face unique challenges when pursuing workers’ compensation claims. You need someone on your side who understands these challenges and your fear of the process. To speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer about your case, contact us at 888-444-7440 for a free and confidential consultation.