Undocumented Workers in Idaho Can Now Claim Disability Payments

August 8, 2018

By Audrey Dutton

Undocumented workers in Idaho have the right to claim workers’ comp payments and even temporary disability payments if they’re hurt on the job.

Now, the Idaho Supreme Court says their immigration status isn’t an absolute bar from long-term disability payments, either.

The high court’s ruling, issued Friday, stems from a 2015 complaint filed by a Mexican citizen living in Emmett against the Treasure Valley painting company that employed him.

Elfego Marquez came to the U.S. illegally in 2000, when he was about 30 years old. He had a college degree and had worked as an elementary school teacher in Mexico, but in the U.S. he used fake Social Security cards to get jobs doing manual labor.

Marquez injured his right wrist, arm and shoulder at work in 2010, while preparing a building to be painted. He needed multiple shoulder surgeries and couldn’t return to his job.

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