Can Undocumented Workers File Workers’ Compensation Claims in Georgia?

Nov 21, 2022

Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Georgia


Workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect employees who suffer an on-the-job injury or illness. In Georgia, all employers with three or more workers must provide their employees with workers’ compensation coverage.

This means that if an employee is injured while performing work duties, they can receive benefits such as medical expenses and lost wages through the workers’ compensation system. However, many injured undocumented workers may not be aware of their rights and eligibility regarding workers’ compensation.

For these workers, it is essential to understand their legal options in the event of an on-the-job injury. Keep reading to learn more about the eligibility and rights of undocumented workers in Georgia.


Are Undocumented Immigrants Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?


Filing a workers’ compensation claim is complex and can be incredibly complicated for undocumented workers. The state of Georgia treats undocumented workers the same way that it treats U.S. citizens and Green Card holders. However, not every business is required by law to provide workers’ comp, and some that should carry workers’ comp benefits may not comply with state laws and requirements.

Undocumented workers can file workers’ compensation claims in Georgia, though their employer may discourage them. State laws require most businesses to provide workers’ comp coverage, regardless of the worker’s immigration status.


How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim


If you’re an undocumented worker who has suffered a workplace injury, it’s essential to know that you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia. However, the process can be challenging and may require the assistance of experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys.

To file a claim:

  • Immediately report any accident to your employer and specify the event and details.
  • Visit an authorized doctor to have your injuries assessed and receive treatment.
  • Prepare documentation. You’ll need the WC-14 Form to file your claim and proof of employment and pay.

The process of submitting your official claim begins here. If your original claim is denied, you may have the option to appeal the decision.

At the Dressie Law Firm, we handle undocumented workers’ compensation cases. Regardless of your immigration or citizenship status, you deserve to receive the benefits you’re entitled to, and we can help you file.


Coverage for Undocumented Workers


Most businesses with three or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia. Undocumented workers received the same coverage and eligibility as documented workers in Georgia.

For undocumented workers, workers’ compensation settlements can cover:

  • Payment for all medical treatment related to the accident
  • Wage replacement
  • Temporary disability benefits
  • Total disability benefits
  • Rehabilitation costs

You are entitled to a worker’s compensation settlement as an undocumented worker. Entrusting your claim to an experienced attorney may help increase the probability of a favorable outcome.


Employers Exempt From Workers’ Compensation Requirements


While most businesses are required to follow workers’ compensation law, some special circumstances and businesses may be exempt.

Agricultural Workers

Employers of agricultural workers are exempt from workers’ compensation requirements. Georgia doesn’t require coverage for those who work in the agricultural sector. Many employers still voluntarily provide workers’ compensation benefits to their team members, but it is at your employer’s discretion.

Sole Proprietorship and Partnerships

If your business is legally classified as a sole proprietorship, it is exempt from workers’ compensation requirements. Even in the case of a partnership, your employer may not be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is a common problem for people working as an unreported employee or contractor.


When Is It Difficult for Undocumented Workers to Obtain Workers’ Compensation?


While illegal immigrants are eligible for workers’ compensation, some situations can complicate your claim. Compensation eligibility is assessed by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company, an authorized doctor, and a trustworthy attorney. While your attorney will fight for you, they may not be able to override certain circumstances.


Pay Transparency


It may be difficult to obtain workers’ compensation for undocumented injured workers who are being paid without proper reporting. If your employer is not accurately documenting your employment or is paying you cash “under the table,” your income will be difficult to verify.

Workers’ compensation amounts are based on your weekly pay. Unreported payments will not make you ineligible for a workers’ compensation settlement but can hinder your wage replacement benefits.


Pre-existing Conditions


If you have a pre-existing condition that is determined to have contributed to your accident and the injury you suffered, you may be ineligible to receive a worker’s compensation settlement. Your insurance company evaluates pre-existing conditions to ensure the injury directly relates to your workplace and job duties.


How Can an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney Help Me?


At The Dressie Law Firm, we understand that being injured on the job can be challenging and overwhelming. We are dedicated to helping undocumented workers receive the workers’ compensation benefits that they deserve.

Our experienced attorneys can assist with the following:

  • Gathering and organizing the necessary documentation
  • Communicating with your employer’s insurance company on your behalf
  • Representing you in court or at mediation hearings if needed
  • Helping you understand your rights and navigate the complex legal process

We are committed to advocating for the rights of undocumented workers and ensuring that they receive the benefits they are entitled to under Georgia law. Do not hesitate to contact us for help with your workers’ compensation claim.


Contact Dressie Law Firm for a Free Consultation

The law offices of Dressie Law Firm are here to help you overcome the challenges you may face when filing a workers’ compensation claim as an undocumented worker. We believe that everyone deserves proper legal representation regardless of their immigration status.

Our skilled legal team is experienced in dealing with workers’ compensation claims for undocumented workers. We offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine the best course of action for obtaining the benefits you deserve. Don’t hesitate to reach out to our personal injury attorneys today. Contact us today at 678-679-0569 for a free case evaluation.