Law Office of James M. Hoffmann Articles Can Immigrant Workers Get Compensation For Covid-19?

Can Immigrant Workers Get Compensation For Covid-19?

By James Hoffmann  Jul. 22, 2020 9:34a

Immigrant workers may have a more difficult time with worker’s compensation claims, especially if they do not have legal residency in the US.

But given the context of a global pandemic and the fact that many immigrant workers are in jobs that put them at direct risk of contracting COVID-19, can they access these benefits?


What Does the Law Say?

Missouri’s worker’s compensation laws generally do not exclude workers based on their immigration status. As a result, you can access worker’s comp benefits if you get injured at work even if you are an immigrant, and even if you do not have legal status in this country.

As long as your employer is the kind of business legally required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, you should be compensated for any workplace injury or diseases, which may include Covid-19 infection. Moreover, your immigration status should not come into question at all.

It Doesn’t Mean It Won’t

Immigrant workers may be less likely to access these benefits, especially if they do not have legal permanent residency in the US. They fear that by speaking up, they may attract more attention to them, which can expose their immigration status and even risk being deported.

While filing a worker’s comp claim should not lead to your immigration status being questioned, it doesn’t mean it won’t.

Your status may be used against you in order to deter you from filing the claim, especially if your employer knows about it and is afraid the process may bring to light their own activities. Or, it’s possible that there is a language barrier that may prevent yours from communicating with your employer or the insurance company, which can lead to certain issues in your claim.

In fairness, your fears here aren’t necessarily unwarranted. Still, if you do get Covid-19 because of your job, your immigration status should not keep you from accessing worker’s comp benefits.


Here’s What You Need to Do

Get in touch with a St. Louis worker’s compensation lawyer to discuss your cases, and make sure to mention your immigration status. You don’t have to worry about this conversation getting you in trouble.

Once a lawyer is fully aware of your situation, they can help you file a worker’s comp claim and ensure you access the benefits that you’re legally entitled to, without letting your immigration status be used against you.

Speak With an Attorney 24/7

If you are feeling the symptoms of a potential Covid-19 infection, and think you got it from work, don’t let your immigration status prevent you from accessing health care. Reach out to a St. Louis work injury lawyer as soon as you can, and talk to them at length about your case. They can help devise an effective strategy and protect your rights. Call (314) 361-4300 for a FREE case evaluation.

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