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Rights of Undocumented Injured Workers

Undocumented workers’ who suffer an injury arising out of and in the course of employment have the rights afforded by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act, with a few exceptions. Undocumented workers’ who are injured on the job are entitled to have all reasonable and necessary medical expenses paid.  When the undocumented injured worker is temporarily and totally disabled from work the undocumented worker should receive weekly workers’ compensation checks. If the injury causes a permanent injury the undocumented worker is entitled to a settlement, or award. If the injury is so serious that the undocumented worker cannot work again the undocumented worker is entitled to permanent total disability benefits. If the undocumented worker dies as the result of the work injury the undocumented workers’ dependents are entitled to a death benefits. None of these benefits are subject to taxes.

If the dependents of a worker who died because of a work injury are nonresident aliens living outside of the United States, Mexico or Canada, the weekly death benefit is reduced by fifty percent, unless a treaty holds otherwise. This is true if the decedent worker was a US citizen, a documented alien, or an undocumented aliens.

When an injured worker’s injury is such that he/she cannot return to the job that he/she was injured at, the injured worker may be entitled to vocational retraining. The goal of vocational retraining is to restore the injured worker to a different job, or career, earning what he/she was earning before the work injury. The vocational retraining must be cost effective, that is, generally speaking the vocational cost must not be too costly. The vocational retaining must also be likely to succeed, that is, there must be a demand for the new skills in the job market. Since an undocumented worker cannot legally work the second requirement, that being, the vocational retraining must be likely to succeed cannot be met so vocational retraining may not be available to an undocumented worker.