Common Questions Regarding Iowa Workers’ Compensation

What is workers compensation?

Workers compensation is a form of insurance that provides medical benefits and wage replacement to employees injured performing their work duties. Employees give up the right to sue their employer in exchange for the benefit.

What types of injures are covered by workers compensation in Iowa?

Any injury or condition caused by work activities other than the normal building up or tearing down of body tissues are compensable as are preexisting conditions where work aggravates or worsens them. Injuries resulting from work related slips trips and falls, struck by or caught in between injuries, strains or sprains, collisions and more are compensable under Iowa workers’ compensation. Conditions ranging from repetitive strain injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises on the job may also be covered.

Who is eligible for Iowa workers’ comp?

Most Iowa employees are covered by workers’ compensation if injured on the job. Check with your employer regarding benefits available to you.

How long do I have to report an injury to get Iowa workers’ compensation benefits?

Iowa law requires an employee to notify their employer of a work related injury within 90 days of its occurrence. The 90 day period starts when an employee knew or should have known the injury arose out of and in the course of their work related duties. Failure to meet the deadline may result in a denial of workers’ compensation benefits.

Can I choose my own doctor is if am injured at work under Iowa workers comp?

In Iowa, your employer has the right to choose the medical provider. However, if an employee is dissatisfied with the care they receive, it is possible to request alternate care from their employer or insurer. Failing that, an injured employee may file a petition with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner for alternative medical care.

What if my Iowa Workers’ Compensation Claim is denied?

The first step is to communicate with your employer or the insurance carrier to determine why your claim was denied.  Common reasons include missed deadlines, an employer disputing your claim that an injury was work related, or that your condition does not meet state guidelines.  If you cannot easily resolve the problem, consider consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can advise you on whether an appeal is a viable course of action in your case. Many attorneys offer a free consultation so you can determine the best strategy moving forward.

What about disability payments?

In addition to workers’ compensation benefits, if you are injured at work you may be entitled to disability benefits. Benefits are typically paid at a weekly workers’ compensation rate of 80% of your spendable earnings not to exceed maximum weekly benefit rates. If an injury is to a scheduled member (such as an arm or leg) your benefits are based on functional impairment. Disability benefits may be paid on a temporary basis or permanently.

Questions Regarding Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer for answers

If you or a family member has been injured at your Iowa workplace, contact the Des Moines workers’ compensation attorneys of Stoltze & Stoltze PLC for more information at515.989.8529.