Our Arizona immigrant workers’ compensation lawyers can explain your legal rights
“No tengo documentos.”
When an injured worker who wishes to file a workers’ compensation claim utters these words, a whole host of legal issues and challenges arise. In Arizona, this scenario arises more than in many other states.
In 2014 (the most recent year for which data is available), there were an estimated 325,000 undocumented immigrants living in the Grand Canyon State. The state’s booming economy and proximity to the border creates opportunity for everyone — including undocumented workers and their families.
Undocumented workers are commonly employed in Arizona’s agricultural and construction industries. These physically demanding jobs take a heavy toll on a worker’s health and can cause serious injuries.
Workers who are undocumented are especially at risk due to a lack of affordable health care options, language barriers, and frequent misunderstandings about their legal rights.
If you or a loved one were injured in the workplace, your employer may try to tell you that you aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. This is NOT true in Arizona. Immigrants and undocumented workers with a valid work injury claim can still receive compensation — even if they have a green card, used a fake identity, were paid in cash, or if their employer is uninsured. Again, your immigration status is NOT a factor when applying for workers’ compensation benefits in Arizona.
If you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim in Arizona, you should act immediately. Injured workers only have one year from the date of the injury to file a claim for benefits. Any delay may prevent you from getting the maximum benefits you’re entitled to under the law.
Contact the Law Offices of Robert E. Wisniewski to learn about your workers’ compensation rights and to protect your future.
We have a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney here to help you. We have represented clients from all backgrounds, industries and across various residency statuses — including United States citizens, permanent residents, guest workers, and undocumented immigrants. Hablamos Español.
Without professional representation, many injured workers fail to receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
Si usted tiene una lesión en su trabajo en Arizona, puede ser elegible para obtener los beneficios de compensación a trabajadores aunque no tenga un green card.
Nuestro equipo ayuda a trabajadores indocumentados a recibir los beneficios que merecen para que puedan continuar manteniendo a sus familias. Hablamos español. Contáctenos lo antes posible para saber más sobre sus derechos.
Arizona Workers’ Compensation Law: Benefits For Undocumented Workers
All injured employees in Arizona are entitled to file for workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of their immigration status. This is because Arizona law (A.R.S. §23-901-(6)(b)) defines an “employee” as: “Every person in the service of any employer … including aliens and minors legally or illegally permitted to work for hire…”
Despite this law, undocumented workers often face unique obstacles and challenges compared to other employees when they suffer a work-related injury and try to file a workers’ compensation claim.
For starters, dishonest employers commonly try to intimidate injured workers and prevent them from filing their claim, saying they aren’t eligible for benefits because they are undocumented. Or they might say that filing a claim will jeopardize your immigration status and lead to deportation.
Both of these claims are untrue. Employers who make these false claims are typically trying to take advantage of their employees’ lack of knowledge of the law or inability to speak English.
Another problem injured undocumented workers may encounter is if they used a different name or fake social security number when they were hired. While falsifying your identity may violate other areas of law, it’s not a valid reason to deny workers’ compensation benefits in Arizona.
Also, even if an undocumented worker has only ever been paid in cash, they are still eligible to claim worker’s compensation benefits if they’re hurt on-the-job under Arizona law.
In addition, even if an employer doesn’t have insurance, injured workers — including undocumented workers — can still receive benefits through the Special Fund Division of the Industrial Commission of Arizona. Nearly all employers in Arizona are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, but an undocumented worker may still be able to recieve compensation regardless.
Lastly, never rely on your boss or an insurance company to provide accurate information about your benefits. In many cases, as an undocumented worker, you may be entitled to some or all of the following compensation for job-related injury costs:
Compensation for services from a licensed interpreter to help you fully understand your rights and accurately communicate the details of your injuries to a doctor.
Reimbursement for treatment of injuries or illnesses caused by your work.
Reimbursement for occasions when you’re required to travel outside of the local area for medical appointments.
Income benefits, including partial or total disability payments.
Arizona Workers’ Compensation GuideFREE E-BOOK
What do you do if you’re injured on-the-job? Our free guide contains knowledge to help the injured worker understand the workers’ compensation application process.
Immigrants & Undocumented Workers in Arizona: Statistics
Immigrants are an integral part of Arizona’s culture and economy. More than 1 in 8 Arizona residents is an immigrant, while nearly 1 in 5 is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least 1 immigrant parent, according to the American Immigration Council. One in 6 workers in Arizona is an immigrant, making up a major part of the state’s labor force in a wide range of industries. Industries like agriculture and construction depend on an even greater share of immigrants.
Here are some other statistics that show just how essential immigrants and undocumented workers are in Arizona and nationwide:
- In 2015, 914,400 immigrants (foreign-born individuals) comprised 13.4 percent of the state’s population.
- More than a quarter-million U.S. citizens in Arizona live with at least 1 family member who is undocumented.
- Undocumented immigrants in Arizona paid an estimated $213.6 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would rise to nearly $253 million if they could receive legal status.
- Immigrant-led households in the state paid $3.7 billion in federal taxes and $1.7 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.
- The top countries of origin for immigrants were Mexico (56.1 percent of immigrants), Canada (4.2 percent), India (4.1 percent), the Philippines (2.9 percent), and Vietnam (2.7 percent).
- Roughly 325,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 35 percent of the immigrant population and 4.9 percent of the total state population in 2014.
- In 2015, immigrant workers in Arizona were most numerous in the following industries: agriculture, construction, waste management, and manufacturing.
Talk to Our Arizona Workers’ Comp Attorneys for a Free Consultation (Hablamos Español)
If you or a loved one are an undocumented worker, it’s essential that you get straight answers and expert advice from a knowledgeable, Spanish-speaking attorney who can clearly explain your rights to you.
The laws surrounding workers’ compensation, especially for undocumented workers, can be confusing. Don’t allow your employer to unfairly deny your right to a claim. If your claim was denied, let our team protest your case for you. You owe it to yourself and your family to seek legal advice from a team that cares.
We will stand by your side to ensure you aren’t missing out on a single penny of medical or income benefits that you may be owed.
If you’re an undocumented worker who has suffered an on-the-job injury, first seek medical help. Then, contact us for experienced legal help.
Why hire our Arizona workers’ comp lawyers?
- We understand the special needs of an injured worker
- Trained and helpful staff
- Personal attention to clients
- Calls promptly returned
- Clients kept up-to-date on case
- State-wide service
- Aggressive & experienced representation
- Hablamos español
If your injuries are left untreated, or you wait too long to file a claim, you may suffer physically and financially. You may be unable to work and provide for your family in the future. Protect yourself and your family’s interests by scheduling your free and confidential consultation.
Best of all, you only pay if we are successful in obtaining benefits for you.
Get Started With a Free Consultation
“Mr. Wisniewski is the best lawyer that I have ever had the pleasure of working with and knowing. His dedication to me as a client has been unmatched. He is kind, caring, empathetic, and genuinely concerned about others. My life was restored after working with him and I was able to heal and continue teaching because of him.” – N.A.
Mr. Wisniewski has been recognized as the premier workers’ compensation lawyer in Arizona. He is the only claimants’ attorney recognized as a Fellow at The College of Workers’ Compensation.
“It costs no more to hire the best.”