States Move to Ban Workers’ Comp to Illegal Immigrants

January 25, 2011 ( - State lawmakers in Georgia have filed legislation seeking to ban illegal immigrants from collecting workers' compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that SB7 would prohibit people from collecting wage loss and medical benefits unless they were in the country legally at the time of their injury.   

The head of the state workers’ compensation board declined to comment on SB7, but said the Georgia Court of Appeals has held for years that such workers are entitled to these benefits. The state has not kept track of how much illegal immigrants have been awarded based on the court’s decision, according to the news report.  

State lawmakers have introduced bills already aimed at barring illegal immigrants from attending state colleges and blocking employers from hiring them.  

Last week, the Associated Press reported that the Montana House gave initial approval to a bill banning illegal immigrants from receiving workers’ compensation insurance benefits in that state. Other legislative initiatives addressing illegal immigrants have also been introduced in Montana legislature, including a bill that would require the state to use a federal database to verify legal immigration status before issuing a driver’s license.