Posted On: December 13, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

Illegal Immigrant Has Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Says Court

An appeals court says that Cargill Meat Solutions must provide workers’ compensation benefits to an illegal immigrant who was injured on the job. Odilon Visoso got hurt in May 2006 when he was hit on the neck, head, and shoulder by a 100-pound meat slab that fell from a hook.

Visoso is an illegal alien. Following his work accident, he kept working at Cargill doing light duty until he underwent surgery on October 2008. Later that month, he was fired because of his illegal immigrant status.

Cargill Meat Solutions did not want to pay for Visoso workers’ compensation benefits because he is an immigrant and therefore is not legally allowed to work in the US. However, the appeals court upheld the ruling of the Worker Compensation Court, which found that all employees who are injured or get sick from doing their job—even illegal aliens—are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation law.

Judge Richard Sievers said that even though Visoso is not legally allowed to work in this country, he was still an ‘employee’ for Cargill and therefore entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Visoso’s workers’ compensation lawyer says not allowing illegal immigrants to obtain work injury benefits might encourage companies to hire illegal workers, which they are not allowed to do.

Illinois Workers’ Compensation
Many illegal workers are scared to come forward to report an injury or disease they sustained on the job because they are scared of being deported or of other legal repercussions. Regardless of your resident status, you may still be entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits.

Obtaining work injury benefits can alleviate your worries about covering your medical bills and lost wages.

Court Grants Benefits to Illegal Immigrant, New American, December 15, 2009

Court: Illegal immigrant entitled to benefits, JournalStar, December 8, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission

To request your free case evaluation, contact Chicago workers’ compensation attorney Steve Malman today.

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