Can Undocumented Workers File Workers’ Compensation Claims in Georgia?

Nov 21, 2022

Filing a workers’ compensation claim is complex and can be especially 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 the state of Georgia, though they may be discouraged from doing so by their employer.

How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you’re injured in the workplace, you may be entitled to a workers’ compensation settlement. To file a claim:

  • Immediately report any accident to your employer and be specific about 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, as well as proof of your 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 to which you’re entitled, 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 the state of 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, there are some special circumstances and businesses that 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 the discretion of your employer.

Sole Proprietorship and Partnerships

If the business you are working for 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 undocumented workers are eligible for workers’ compensation, some situations can complicate your claim. Compensation eligibility is assessed by your insurance company, 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 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 they 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 that the injury was directly related to the workplace and your job duties.

We Fight for Injured Undocumented Workers in the Atlanta Area

At the Dressie Law Firm, we know it can be difficult to navigate filing a workers’ compensation claim. Our personal injury attorneys will use their extensive experience in workers’ comp law to manage your case and pursue the benefits you’re rightfully owed. Contact us today at 678-679-0569 for a free case evaluation.