A worker injured on the job in Iowa can apply and qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits through their employer. However, there are things that can lead to denial of benefits or take away permitted benefits to an employee. If you are filing for workers’ compensation insurance, it is imperative you speak with an attorney to avoid critical mistakes — or worse, fraudulent activities — that can result in no benefits and possibly criminal penalties.
Things That Can Affect Your Ability to Receive BenefitsSometimes it is an error that makes you ineligible for benefits, while other times falsifying information on a claim can lead to a permanent denial. These five items are common reasons injured Iowa workers do not receive benefits or lose the benefits they are receiving:
- Not Filing Workers’ Compensation Claim on Time - Iowa has strict time limits on how long you have to file your claim. If you fail to file within that time period, you lose your right to recover benefits. In Iowa, you have two years to file a workers’ compensation claim, but after sustaining a work-related injury, you also only have 90 days to report the injury to your employer. Failure to meet either deadline could result in a denial of benefits.
- The Injury Was Not Work Related - Sometimes employees assume their injury happened during work, while other times they knowingly file for benefits when the injury happened on their day off. Injuries are only covered under worker’s compensation benefits if they are work-related and to be work-related, they must have occurred during the course of employment. Therefore, if you were not on the clock or the employer was not benefiting from your service at the time of injury, you may not be covered.
- You Refuse to Submit to a Medical Examination - After you have been approved for benefits, you are still required to submit to reasonable medical care or you may be required to attend a medical examination. The insurance carrier may also require that you visit a physician within a timely manner and have them complete necessary paperwork. Failure to do either could result in your benefits being revoked.
- Symptoms Were Exaggerated - It is not uncommon for a person to feel more pain or assume they are injured more than they are — especially with the emotions associated with being injured at work. But, exaggerating those symptoms to attempt to receive more benefits and time off could easily be uncovered during a medical exam or if the physician overseeing your care reports otherwise to insurance.
- You Return to Work - While the goal is to return to work, doing so before you are medically able or cleared could result in a revocation of your workers’ compensation benefits.