Disability Payments Denial Upheld over Immigration Status

February 2, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Oregon state officials were within their legal rights in establishing a rule that vocational assistance benefits can only go to injured workers authorized to work in the U.S., a state appellate court has ruled.

The Oregon Court of Appeals held that the director of the state Department of Consumer and Business services properly turned away an application for benefits from illegal immigrant Carmen Carreon.

“That rule, we conclude, is a valid exercise of the authority granted to the director under ORS 656.340(7) to establish other conditions for providing vocational assistance,” the appellate judges wrote. 

In her appeal of the benefits denial, Carreon contended that the conditions for vocational assistance eligibility should rightly depend on whether a worker is able to return to a previous job or any other suitable employment and the extent of the person’s handicap.

The court ruling is available here.