After a serious accident, your condition isn't always entirely stable. Changes in your condition that you didn't expect are, for better or worse, common. Your abilities may change, as well, meaning you’re either getting better sooner than expected or deteriorating so much that you’ll be unable to work for longer than you thought.
When you're receiving Iowa workers compensation benefits, this situation becomes complicated: Will your compensation change? Can a workers comp case be reopened in Iowa at all?
You ability to reopen your Iowa work comp case will depend on several factors, from your current health to the length of time for which you've been receiving your benefits. If you believe your workers comp case might warrant reopening, speak with our attorneys at Pothitakis Law Firm, PC.
If Your Condition Is Better
In some cases, you might find yourself making a surprising turn for the better. Certain problems require mostly rest and your body's own ability to heal, and you may find yourself better sooner than you or your doctor expected.
When this happens, you may wish to return to work. After all, your workers compensation is, at most, 80 percent of your regular income, so returning to work is likely more profitable for you and your family.
If you’re planning to return to work, you will need to notify your employer that you believe you will be able to return to do so, and you’ll need clearance from your doctor. Iowa offers vocational rehabilitation, which can help you get back to the job you once had. In this situation, the workers comp case doesn’t need to be reopened, but your benefits will be terminated.
Continuing Your Disability Benefits
If your injuries haven’t healed, however, and your benefits will be expiring soon, you need to act quickly to keep your benefits going. Certain restrictions are placed on renewing a case, so be sure that your work comp case is still viable.
First, make sure you are within the statute of limitations for a case review. In Iowa, you have three years after the last payment of your benefits to request a review of your case.
You’ll also need to show that you will need these benefits to continue. The work comp insurer will likely ask for a doctor’s examination, and so, as you did for your original claim, you will need to prepare the evidence to support your claim.
Help Reopening Your Workers Comp Case
When you’re looking to extend your disability benefits, you’ll likely need to reopen your case, if possible, and fight for the compensation you need. Unfortunately, this is not always easy. When you’ve had a turn for the worse, you may need an Iowa workers compensation lawyer to answer your biggest question: “Can a workers comp case be reopened in Iowa, and how do I do it?”
Our work comp firm will guide you through your case and what we can do to make sure your benefits continue. For a free evaluation of your case, reach out to Pothitakis Law Firm, PC. We can help you discover whether you have a case before you ever file. Give us a call at 1-888-329-0243 or fill out our online contact form below.