Can An Undocumented Worker Receive Workers’ Compensation In Pennsylvania? May 23, 2014
By Gabriela Raful, Esq.
Under Pennsylvania law, an undocumented worker who is injured on the job may receive workers’ compensation benefits under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, despite the fact that a documented and an undocumented worker may make the same amount of money, do the same type of work, and sometimes sustain the same type of injury, an undocumented worker has different rights than a documented worker under workers’ compensation law.
In Reinforced Earth Co. v. WCAB (Astudillo), the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided that undocumented workers are not excluded from coverage under the Workers’ Compensation Act. However, the Pa. Supreme Court ruled that disability benefits for undocumented workers may be limited, depending on the worker’s ability to work.
If an undocumented worker gets injured on the job, the worker may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits until he/she regains the ability to perform any meaningful work. In other words, in order for the undocumented worker to received workers’ compensation for an injury, the resulting disability must preclude the injured worker from doing any job. As soon as the worker is able to work, his or her benefits may be suspended.
Thus, an undocumented worker who is injured on the job is entitled to benefits so long as the injured worker is unable to engage in any meaningful work. If you or someone you know is unable to work because of a work-injury, our experience attorneys may be able to help. Call today for a free consultation.