Undocumented Workers Are Entitled to Most Work Comp Benefits

By Jason Weinstock on April 9, 2012

Injured workers in Nevada who do not have proper written proof of their right to legally work in the United States are entitled to the same benefits as any other injured worker, except for vocational rehabilitation benefits.  All injured workers are entitled to medical care for a work-related injury while working for a Nevada employer, even if they are working in the United States illegally. 

The injured worker does need to be able to prove that he was working for a Nevada employer at the time of the accident at work.  That may be difficult if he is paid cash instead of a proper paycheck.

Assuming that the worker lied to the employer about immigration status to get the job, the worker is nonetheless entitled to medical and most compensation benefits once the employment relationship is proven.  

In addition, undocumented workers may receive temporary total disability benefits, payable at 66 2/3 of their average monthly wage, up to the state maximum, if they are taken off work by their treating physician as a result of the work accident.   These compensation benefits are also payable if the employer is unable to provide temporary light duty employment while the injured worker is treating for his injury.  Even more surprising to most undocumented injured workers, they are entitled to receive a permanent partial disability award at the end of treatment  for any permanent injuries.  

What undocumentated injured workers  may not receive are vocational rehabilitation benefits.   Only injured workers who have an Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 that can be verified, are  entitled to a continuation of bi-weekly checks while he or she participates in a retraining program.    And, only documented injured workers may request a vocational rehabilitation lump sum buy-out if they chose not to participate in retraining.   

Most workers’ compensation attorneys offer a free consultation to reveiw your particular case to advise you.   Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you cannot get proper medical care or compensation benefits or  an award just because you are in the United States working illegally.  Call for a free Guide to Nevada Workers’ Compensation Law in Spanish.  (702) 699-5336.

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