Workers’ compensation is a program that ensures that American workers will be offered some level of coverage and assistance if they get hurt on the job. It generally helps to pay for a portion of the wages that they’ll lose and covers their medical bills and other closely related costs. The vast majority of businesses are supposed to offer this option to their employees, and fault doesn’t usually matter, so it’s something that American workers count on.
But what if you’re working in America, but you are not an American? You are undocumented, though you’re living with family members, and you’ve been working in the U.S. for years. If you get injured on the job, do you still have a right to benefits? Or is this something that only goes to native-born citizens or those who have been through the naturalization process?
You can still seek workers’ comp
While many people assume that undocumented workers would be excluded from this program, the truth is that you can still seek workers’ comp in North Carolina. Your status doesn’t change the fact that you were hurt on the job, and you need compensation for the costs that come with that.
There are some exceptions to this rule, most notably the fact that Wyoming does not offer these same benefits to workers in that state. But most states, including North Carolina, do not make a distinction regarding the documentation of the employee. If someone is employed and they get injured on the job, then they are eligible for workers comp.
Navigating the system
It’s natural for you to think that this process may be confusing and to be worried about the outcome. Please take the time to carefully consider your legal options.