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Idaho: Injured Worker’s “Undocumented” Status is Economic Factor to Be Considered in Determining Level of Permanent Disability

August 15, 2018 (1 min read)

In a split decision, the Supreme Court of Idaho held that the plain wording of Idaho Code Ann. §§ 72-425 and 72-430 require that allpersonal and economic circumstances that diminish the ability of the claimant to compete in an open labor market must be considered when determining whether an injured employee is entitled to permanent disability benefits, including his or her status as an undocumented immigrant. The Court reversed a Commission decision that the claimant’s undocumented status should not be considered. The Court refused to address the specific weight that a claimant's undocumented immigration status should play in evaluating a claim for permanent disability. It also indicated it was not prejudging whether the claimant was entitled to receive permanent disability in excess of impairment in this case. Here, the claimant illegally immigrated from Mexico, purchased a social security card, and used it (and a subsequently purchased second card) to get a series of jobs until he was seriously injured in a painting accident. The dissent argued that the multiple illegal acts of both the claimant and the employer should not be ignored.

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 Marquez v. Pierce Painting, Inc., 2018 Ida. LEXIS 155 (Aug. 3, 2018)

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

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