Assisting Clients Across California Since 1993

Am I eligible for worker’s compensation if I am undocumented?

Workplace injuries can significantly impact your daily life and leave you with medical bills and unpaid wages. But are you entitled to workers’ compensation after a workplace accident if you are an undocumented individual?

In California, the law protects all workers regardless of immigration status—but there may be limited benefits. This means all employees, documented or not, may claim workers’ compensation benefits if they face an accident or become sick because of their job. This includes injuries, repetitive stress from daily tasks, and even illnesses due to prolonged exposure to hazardous materials.

Why does California offer this protection?

The Golden State prioritizes worker safety. It values fairness for all workers and believes that everyone deserves protection if they get hurt while doing their jobs. The state also wants to create a safer environment for everyone, and it is against the law for employers to discriminate, threaten or retaliate against employees based on their immigration status.

Benefits for undocumented workers

Undocumented workers have the right to receive medical treatment and partial replacement wages after an injury due to their jobs. They may also apply for Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave even without a Social Security number (SSN).

Steps to take after your work injury

If you are hurt on the job, there are vital steps to take.

  • Get medical help: Your health comes first. See a doctor right away, no matter how minor your injuries may seem.
  • Report the incident: Inform your supervisor or employer as soon as possible as there may be specific procedures for reporting workplace injuries.
  • File a workers’ compensation claim: Your HR or employer should provide the necessary forms to fill out. Answer them accurately and submit them on time. Do not delay and always keep a copy for your records.

Protecting workers’ rights

No matter what your immigration status is, you still have rights as an employee. You may check out community organizations that may support you when it comes to claiming your compensation. There are also other professionals who will help you and guide you through the claims process and fight for your rights.