Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers:  Undocumented Workers Face Challenges Accessing Healthcare

For undocumented immigrants, the United States offers the chance at a new life; if they are lucky, work hard and stay healthy. Many undocumented laborers pray for good health, knowing that they have no means to pay for expensive surgeries in the event of an emergency. U.S citizens, legal aliens and green card holders have many options when it comes to health care. Conversely, undocumented workers must rely on hospital charity programs to pay for their care. These charity programs are often burdened by state laws that limit undocumented workers access only to certain treatments, leaving them unable to obtain all of the care that they may need.

Eduardo Franco Ramirez is an undocumented worker who had to navigate the complicated hospital charity care system. In 2013, Ramirez was severely beaten in a vicious mugging. He spent almost a month in the hospital after the attack and had a fragment of his skull removed to save his life. This initial, life-saving hospitalization was covered under the University of Colorado Hospital’s charity care program. The follow-up surgery to replace Ramirez’s skull is not; leaving Ramirez with a dent in his head, limited access to work, and no way to pay for the expensive surgery.

Non-Emergency Treatment Prohibited for Undocumented Workers

Doctors at many hospitals across the country are legally prohibited from performing any kind of treatment not deemed “emergency care” for undocumented immigrants. Often, this treatment only includes hospitalization and excludes follow-up surgery or care. Specialty medicine and non-emergency medical care is often tricky for insured patients to access, but for undocumented immigrants, it is often an impenetrable fortress. Undocumented workers were not provided for in the healthcare reform bill and are ineligible for Medicaid.

Undocumented workers who are injured on the job often have difficulty filing Workers’ Compensation claims. Insurance companies have been known to deny undocumented workers benefits if they are informed by the employer of the worker’s illegal status. Many undocumented workers are at risk to not only receive a denial of Workers’ Compensation benefits, but also to lose their employment and potentially be detained by immigration authorities.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC Provide Experienced Legal Representation to Undocumented Workers in Pennsylvania

If you or someone you know is an undocumented worker who needs medical care or has suffered a work-related injury, the knowledgeable Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, PC are here to help. We are passionate advocates for undocumented workers in the United States and believe that all workers’ should have access to the medical care they need. Please contact a multi-lingual Philadelphia immigration lawyer at 215-925-4435 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are conveniently located in Philadelphia and easily accessible by car, bus, train, and all forms of public transportation.