Michigan Illegal Immigrant Entitled To Partial Workers Comp Benefits

July 26, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Worker compensation benefits can be paid to an illegal immigrant prior to their work status being discovered, but not after.

The appeals court ruling stood after the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear the case of Mexican immigrant David Sanchez. Sanchez was appealing the lower court’s ruling in an attempt to gain full workers compensation benefits, according to an Associated Press report.

Sanchez was an employee at foundry company Eagle Alloy Inc, where he was hired in 1997 using a fake social security number and driver’s license. In 1998, he was partially disabled in an accident that crushed and burned his hand. Eagle Alloy fired Sanchez in 1999 after he true immigration status was discovered.

He later applied for and received workers compensation benefits for his injury. Eagle Alloy appealed, contending Sanchez had violated a provision of Michigan law that requires recipients of workers compensation not to be imprisoned or commit crimes.

The state Court of Appeals ruled that while Sanchez is considered an employee entitled to workers compensation, he may only receive it up until the day when his employers discovered he was in the country illegally.

The Supreme Court said its decision that it is no longer thinks it should review the questions.