How Will Illegal Immigrants and Workers' Compensation Claims Play Out in Florida?

Author: The Massey Clark Fisher Team | Friday, Mar 11, 2011

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Recently the Supreme Court turned down a case hearing of a Louisiana man's workers' compensation case. The reason? He wasn’t a citizen of the United States.The Supreme Court choosing not to take on workers' compensation cases on illegal immigrants puts the issue in the hands of each individual state. Being in a state where the number of illegal immigrants is higher than in other parts of the country, Florida workers' compensation claims by illegal workers come by the handful.

Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), illegal immigrants are prohibited from working in the United States. The case declined by the Court raises the question of whether or not the IRCA preempts state laws requiring the provision of workers’ compensation coverage to employees.

All US states require workers' compensation insurance with the exception of Texas. Some states such as Virginia have decided that illegal workers are not eligible for workers' compensation coverage since they are not American citizens.

Currently, there is no law in place for dealing with these types of situations. According to Insurance Journal, some think the Supreme Court should decide on a way to deal with all illegal workers' claims, allowing them to receive the necessary medical attention they need without the compensation benefits.