As we have previously discussed on this blog, generally speaking, Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits are available to every totally disabled injured worker, regardless of whether that injured worker has legal status to work in this Country or not. The issue of legal status does matter, however, when the injured worker retains some ability to perform gainful employment.
Last year, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania decided Kennett Square Specialties v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Cruz), finding that the legal status of an injured worker cannot be proven by a workers’ comp insurance carrier solely by having a Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) take a negative inference because the injured worker refuses to answer questions regarding his legal status.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania accepted appeal of this case, and recently heard oral arguments from the respective attorneys. As always, we will advise you when a decision is rendered by the Court.