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Important Notice Regarding COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Benefits Eligibility for Immigrant Workers

New Alert From Insurance Commissioner Affects COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Benefits Eligibility for Immigrant Workers

COVID-19 Workers' Comp. BenefitsA new notice from Ricardo Lara, Insurance Commissioner, has important implications on the rights of immigrant workers in the United States. This year, Lara notified insurance companies that workers who have been affected by COVID-19 while working are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. According to the notice, this right to workers’ compensation benefits is valid regardless of immigration status.

Those eligible include those working in emergency services, sales, food production, health care, delivery, and sales. In other words, those working in front-line occupations.

A recent quote from Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara helps elaborate on the intent and purpose of this notice:

“This unprecedented pandemic has sparked questions and concerns among essential workers in the immigrant community who are showing up for work every day, bringing us vital goods and services. Hard-working Californians who are exposed to COVID-19 are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they fall ill, regardless of their immigration status.”

The purpose of the notice was to serve as a reminder to insurance agents, employees, and the companies they belong to that the payment of workers’ compensation benefits to workers injured on the job is required under California law, regardless of the workers’ status as an immigrant.

Ricardo Lara’s actions seem to be consistent with the actions and policies of California Governor Gavin Newsom. On March 12 of this year, Newsom signed an executive order defining the eligibility of workers who were exposed to COVID-19 while working to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

If you wish to learn more or stay up to date on the development of insurance rights during the pandemic, insurance.ca.gov is the official website of the California Department of Insurance. It contains accurate and up-to-date information regarding all new policies and notices from the department. Here is a direct link to the page containing the notice from Ricardo Lara mentioned above:


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