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Workers' Compensation

Florida: Undocumented Worker Denied Medical Care Following Injury

Affirming a decision by a state Judge of Compensation Claims, a Florida appellate court has agreed that an undocumented worker who sustained injuries in a work-related accident can be denied benefits on the basis that he used someone else’s Social Security Number (SSN) when completing an intake form at a medical provider. The medical care “registration” form indicated the claim could be denied if the injured worker failed to provide a SSN. The worker, who was illegally working in the U.S., had no valid SSN. He completed the form using the SSN of another person. When it was discovered, the carrier sought to deny the claim. The JCC denied the claim, on the basis that, under § 440.09(4)(a), Fla. Stat., the injured worker had offered a false or misleading statement “for the purpose of securing workers’ compensation benefits.” The appellate court agreed, citing its earlier decision in Arreola v. Admin. Concepts, 17 So. 3d 792 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009). The claimant’s lack of lawful immigration status was not a defense to providing fraudulent information to obtain benefits.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Hernandez v. Food Mkt. Corp., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 16441 (1st DCA, Oct. 30, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 66.03.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see