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A workplace injury likely means that you’re eligible to receive Iowa workers compensation. Getting all the benefits you deserve usually requires working with an Iowa work comp attorney, however.
Were your workers compensation benefits unfairly denied? You have options beyond simply accepting that outcome. Call our Iowa law firm today to get started on appealing your work comp denial.
Whether your car accident occurred while you were driving for work or for a personal reason, our Iowa injury attorneys can help you recover the full compensation your losses entitle you to.
About Pothitakis Law Firm, PCDedicated to helping the people of Iowa, the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC knows how to get the best outcome available when someone has been hurt at work and is in need of compensation.
The Right Iowa Workers Compensation Attorney for You
Injuries suffered at work can make all aspects of your life dramatically more difficult. Serious on-the-job injuries can make it impossible to work while you recover, the medical bills can quickly pile up, and you could very well be at the mercy of your employer’s workers compensation insurer. In essence, you need workers comp benefits to cover your lost wages and medical expenses, but the insurer isn’t going to be eager to help.
In this situation, you need the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC on your side. Our founder, Nicholas Pothitakis, is an Iowa workers comp lawyer with over two decades of experience helping injured Iowans recover the benefits and compensation they deserve. He’s even served as the president of the Iowa Association of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, making him a leading attorney in the field of workers comp law.
Attorney Pothitakis has also belonged to a number of other professional organizations, including the Board of Governors of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association and the Workers’ Compensation Core Group of the Iowa Trial Lawyers Association. Furthermore, he has been professionally recognized with membership in the Best Lawyers in Iowa, Super Lawyers, and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers.
When the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC represents your workman’s comp or personal injury claim, you can rest assured that you have a top Iowa attorney on your side, looking out for your best interests every step of the way. Our firm knows Iowa workers compensation law inside and out, and we’re here to help you get the results you need when you’ve been hurt and need compensation.
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Free Consultations for Work Accident Victims
When you’ve been hurt on the job and are having trouble getting the work comp benefits you deserve, the last thing you need are attorney fees on top of everything else. At the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC, we understand this and strive to make getting legal help to protect your work comp rights as easy as possible, so we offer all new clients a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss their case.
Our work comp lawyer in Iowa will review your case and give you the in-depth legal analysis you need to make an informed decision about what to do next. There’s no obligation to proceed past the consult, so you don’t have to worry that getting a case evaluation locks you into continuing if you’re unsure. No sales fluff, just answers and honest legal advice.
Why Choose Pothitakis Law Firm, PC?With over two decades of experience practicing personal injury and workers compensation law, Niko Pothitakis is the Iowa attorney you need to get the most from your injury claim.
An Experienced Iowa Attorney Who Will Aggressively Fight for Your Rights
The Pothitakis Law Firm, PC uses an aggressive approach when it comes to fighting for our clients’ workers comp rights. With our Iowa law firm handling your case, your employer or work comp insurer won’t be able to use scare tactics, red tape, or intimidation to prevent you from claiming the full workers compensation you’re due.
As a boutique law firm, we also provide our clients with the personal attention they need to get through the difficult time caused by a workplace injury or accident. You’ll be able to speak with your Iowa workers compensation lawyer whenever you have questions, and everyone on our staff will be familiar with both you and your work injury case.
You can also count on our law firm to have a deep knowledge of serious injuries. This is important because it means that not only will we know what you’re going through, but our workers comp lawyer will also know exactly what you need in terms of both medical treatment and compensation. This is essential for getting everything possible covered in your Iowa work comp claim.
Getting everything you deserve sometimes means extended negotiations or going to court, and the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC is known for being tireless fighters when it comes to protecting our clients’ rights and compensation. You need all your work comp benefits, and our workman’s comp attorney won’t be satisfied with getting you anything less than that.
Iowa Workers Comp Lawyer
Over one million Iowans head to work every day to support themselves and their families. Your job provides a stable income that you and your loved ones use to support yourselves and pay for many of the things you most enjoy.
Sadly, that might change in the days following a workplace accident. You’re injured and unable to work—possibly unable to work ever again. It’s a tough situation, and one that nobody wants to be caught in. So what do you do when you’ve suffered an on-the-job injury?
Filing for workers compensation in Iowa should be one of the first steps, but knowing how to get the most compensation possible can be tough. Worse, your employer or insurer may dispute your claim. This means that you’ll be waiting even longer for the compensation you and your family need to survive after a work accident. That’s when you need an Iowa workers comp lawyer from the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC.
When you’re struggling to get your compensation, call a lawyer from our Iowa work comp law firm. Our attorneys are experienced with all stages of a work comp claim, and we understand how important your benefits are for your recovery. If your workman’s comp insurance should cover your accident and you’re having trouble, give us a call for help—whether you’re in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Burlington, Keokuk, or anywhere else in the state of Iowa.
Common Work Accident Injuries
Work accidents aren’t an uncommon thing. When you spend every day around heavy machinery, sharp objects, or dangerous chemicals, an accident can happen at any moment. Even careful employees in seemingly safe office jobs end up with injuries and work-related illnesses.
While OSHA standards do prevent many accidents, no set of work safety guidelines can prevent all accidents. Even repetitive motions and activities can affect your health, and you may find yourself with a serious injury even if there was no specific incident.
As such, you’ll need to consider what injuries you’ve suffered when you’re filing your Iowa workers compensation claim. The severity and cause of your workplace accident will help the insurance company make decisions about your case. They’ll need to know how affected you are and how long you’ll be unable to work for. As such, knowing what injuries you suffered can help you and your workers compensation attorney get your case started.
For a few examples of common work injuries, see the list below:
- Fall Injuries – Any job that requires climbing or working in high places puts you at risk for falling. While safety standards will help if you do fall, you could still suffer brain injuries, back injuries, shoulder injuries, and broken bones.
- Chemical or Electrical Burns – Chemicals are often dangerous to work with. If they touch your skin or an electrical current shocks you, the damage may be severe. Burns from any source can be difficult to treat and painful to deal with.
- Crushing or Cutting Injuries – Damage to the limbs or fingers is common when working with heavy machinery, such as farm and construction equipment. These can leave you with severe lacerations, and in some cases, amputation may be necessary
Other Workplace Injury Types
Your injury may not have been a one-time accident. The damage might have been caused by something that has been wearing your body down for years. Some injuries take time before they’re serious enough to warrant a hospital visit. In these situations, are you still covered by workers comp in Iowa?
In most cases, yes. Iowa keeps its definition of an on-the-job injury broad, so many injured workers have coverage available for injuries that weren’t caused by a single event. This gives employees and workers a better opportunity to get the healthcare and treatment they need for a serious work injury.
Hearing loss is especially likely for those who work in noisy environments, such as on railroads or in factories. Those suffering from occupational diseases can also file with help from an Iowa workers comp lawyer. For instance, mesothelioma doesn’t just suddenly appear. It can take years to develop, and if you’ve been exposed to asbestos during your daily work, that exposure may cost you in the long run.
Even repeat strain and repetitive motions can lead to a major injury. If you’re experiencing any pain or an illness that may be related to work, you should consider speaking to a doctor about your injuries or condition. Acting now gives you the chance to focus on your recovery, so act as soon as possible to get the help you need by contacting the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC today.
Eligibility Laws for Workers Compensation in Iowa
You’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, but are you eligible for workman’s compensation? In Iowa, many injured workers aren’t sure. While employers are required to post this information around the workplace, many neglect to do so, or simply don’t post the information in obvious areas.
Fortunately, most Iowa workers are eligible for workers compensation. Most employers are required to provide work comp coverage for their employees. Even if your employer is the rare exception, you might have workers comp available in other forms. For example, firefighters and police officers don’t receive benefits because theirs come through a pension fund. Iowa Code provides this benefit to them.
If you’re not sure whether you’re eligible for work comp in Iowa, contact our firm to discuss your options with a work comp lawyer. We can review your case with you and determine whether you’re covered. Below is a list of some of the workers usually ineligible for workers compensation in Iowa:
- Exchange labors in agricultural settings
- Agricultural workers earning less than $2,500 per year
- Domestic workers earning less than $1,500 per year
- Members of limited liability companies
- The board members of a family farm corporation and their families
Don’t see your job listed above but still unsure whether you’re eligible for workers comp? Call us: We can discuss your options for pursuing an Iowa workers compensation claim.
Iowa Work Comp Claim Process
Once you’ve determined that you’re eligible, you’ll be ready to file your claim and get started. But, how do you begin? Fortunately, the state of Iowa has streamlined the claims process, although there can still be a number of hurdles to overcome, making it essential to retain the services of a workman’s comp attorney.
This is especially important to bear in mind if you’re denied at first. A work comp denial isn’t the end of your case, but it does mean that getting the benefits you need for your recovery will be more difficult. Acting as soon as possible can reduce the time you have to spend without the compensation you need. So when you’ve been injured at work, be sure to start your work comp case as soon as possible.
Getting your workers comp claim approved is vital, so it’s important to understand the process. Understanding the timeline will prepare you for a dispute or a denial, so be sure that you know what’s happening with your case along the way.
Getting Treatment and Filing a Workman’s Comp Claim
When you’re injured on the job, you’ll first need medical treatment. Employers will often have a specific doctor or healthcare provider they’ll want you to visit, so it’s best to check with your employer first, if possible. Head to the hospital or doctor’s office before anything else. After all, your health should come first.
Otherwise, you’ll have ninety days to report your workplace injury to your employer. In some cases, it’s simply not possible to get notice to them right away, but the sooner you do so, the sooner your employer can start the Iowa workers compensation process.
First Report of Injury
Once you’ve filed your report with your employer, it’s up to them to make the next step. They’ll take your notice that an injury happened at work and contact the insurance company. Your employer should file your claim within four days of your accident.
From this point, you won’t have as much direct involvement with your work injury claim. Instead, your employer will communicate with the insurers and the Workers Compensation Commissioner. They need to ensure that your case gets the attention it needs.
The insurer will then investigate your claim. Typically, this means that they’ll speak to your doctor, review any evidence that the accident happened in the workplace, and interview any witnesses.
Workers Compensation Approval or Denial
Once they’ve investigated your claim, you should get a response fairly quickly. This should allow you to focus on getting your benefits as soon as possible. Working with an Iowa workers comp attorney from our firm can help to move the process along.
Sometimes you’ll receive notice that your work comp claim was approved. In these cases, you’re usually done. You’ll receive the benefits you qualified for, and you’ll be able to receive those benefits for the set time that your benefits allow. This will depend on how severe and permanent your injuries are, as well as whether you’ll be able to return to work in any capacity.
Unfortunately, it’s possible that you’ll receive a denial for your workers comp claim. It’s frustrating, since you’ll be waiting longer for your benefits, but don’t worry: You have an opportunity to appeal. If you’ve received a denial, this is where a workers compensation lawyer is critical for your case. The Pothitakis Law Firm, PC can review your case for errors or the reasons for your denial.
Dealing with a workman’s comp denial is tough when you need your benefits, but it’s not impossible to appeal. Getting the legal help you need will be vital to getting your workers comp claim settled.
Workers Comp Benefits Provided in Iowa
When you’ve been injured and need benefits, Iowa offers several options to help you recover, depending on your injuries. The insurance company will decide how serious your work-related injuries are, how long you’ll be unable to work, and whether you’ll be able to return in any capacity based on your doctor’s exams. These will help them determine exactly what your case is worth.
As such, you might see any combination of these benefits, depending on your situation. If you have questions about your injuries or what your work comp claim should be worth, contact our workers compensation attorney in Iowa for more information.
Your workers compensation should cover your medical expenses. In most cases, you may have been seriously injured with life-threatening or life-altering injuries. When this happens, you may have to make permanent changes based on your current and future health.
For instance, back injuries might cause complete paralysis from the point of the injury down. If your job requires you to stand for most of the day, you might be unable to keep your position. You may be unable to return to work at all, depending on your situation.
Spinal cord injuries also need plenty of care, even if the injury is not “complete,” or even if the spinal cord isn’t severed and you’re not permanently paralyzed. In these cases, you’ll still need months or years of physical therapy. Even if you can’t regain all your mobility, it’s necessary to strengthen your muscles and regain some of your mobility.
As such, your medical expenses should cover anything related to your on-the-job injury. It’s your employer’s responsibility to ensure your safety, and when you’re injured at work, they should provide the help you need after a serious accident.
Sadly, you may be reading this because you lost a loved one in a work-related accident. No matter how careful anyone is, a workplace accident could turn deadly. When that happens, you could lose the financial support your spouse gave you, not to mention his or her personal support and care.
Fortunately, Iowa does provide some help for the deceased worker’s family. Funerals are expensive, but the deceased worker’s work comp insurance should cover many of these expenses. You should receive up to $7,500 to help you pay for the funeral, on top of your weekly benefits.
If you were dependent on the deceased, you’ll also receive workers compensation death benefits after his or her passing. Eighty percent of the worker’s weekly income will go to you if this amount doesn’t exceed 200 percent of Iowa’s state average weekly income.
These benefits begin at the death of the employee and continue until you remarry or, if you’re a child of the deceased, until you turn eighteen years old. If you choose to remarry, you should also receive a lump-sum settlement as your work comp benefits end. Be sure to speak with your Iowa workers comp lawyer as you begin the process to make sure you’re getting all the benefits you deserve.
Handling an Iowa Workers Compensation Claim Denial
When you file a workman’s compensation claim, you’re not guaranteed an approval. It’s unfortunate, but you may end up fighting for your benefits. This is where a work comp attorney can help you most: We can discuss your denial and get started fighting for your work accident case.
Your employer’s work comp insurance company is required to list why your claim was denied. This will be the first step toward getting your work comp claim settled, since you’ll know what is missing or incorrect. Below are a few of the most common reasons for a claim denial:
- Lack of medical evidence
- Employer says the injury didn’t happen at work
- Insurance company disputes your claim
- You missed a deadline
- Your injury doesn’t meet the qualifications set by your insurance company
Knowing what went wrong will be the first step toward getting your workers comp claim handled. Once you know why your claim was denied, you can file an appeal, which a lawyer from the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC can help you with. When you’re injured in a work accident, having legal help on your side to get the workers comp you need will make a difference.
Our Iowa workers compensation attorney can represent you and work on your case. It’s easy to make a mistake when you don’t know Iowa work comp law. A lawyer from our firm, however, can guide you through the process and help you get your denial appealed.
The Work Comp Appeals Process
When you appeal your denial, it’s best to turn to your employer and the insurance company first. Work comp cases can often be handled before they need to go any farther, and your work comp lawyer can negotiate on your behalf. If the insurer or your employer won’t listen, however, further measures can be taken.
If your employer doesn’t listen, a contested-case procedure can be opened with the Workers Compensation Commissioner. Since the commissioner oversees workers comp laws in Iowa and ensures that they’re being followed, you’ll bring your case to them first. You and your Iowa lawyer will present your case, and the commissioner will make a judgment on your denial.
It’s important to make sure you have all the evidence you need before beginning the proceedings with the commissioner. Make sure you’ve visited your doctor, spoken to any witnesses, and haven’t missed any important deadlines.
After an appeal with the commissioner, many people receive a work comp claim approval and begin receiving their benefits. Many denials come down to a mistake or a lack of evidence, which can sometimes be quickly remedied. If your workers compensation case is still denied, don’t worry. The Pothitakis Law Firm, PC can review your case and prepare your future appeal. We’re here to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Reach Out to an Iowa Workers Compensation Lawyer
For most of us, the last thing we want to do after a serious injury is fight. You probably want to rest, let your work-related injury or illness heal, and spend less time worrying about your income. Unfortunately, that’s tough when you’ve received a claim denial.
At the Pothitakis Law Firm, PC, we know how difficult an Iowa workers comp denial can be. You need that money to get through this tough time in your life, and when that’s kept from you, it’s hard to overcome. But, you don’t have to appeal your case alone. Our workman’s comp lawyer is here to help you get through this.
If you’re struggling with your work injury case, call us for a free consultation. We know that money is tight when you’re injured and unable to work. That’s why we want to make it as easy as possible to get the settlement you deserve. Our law firm will talk to you before you ever sign anything about your case, so you know that we can help you.
Reach out to us today for a free case evaluation with our Iowa workers comp attorney. We offer services to help you investigate your case and get your denial appealed. Getting started on your claim is only a call or click away. Reach us at 1-866-753-4692 or through our online form below.
IOWA WORK COMP FAQs
Am I eligible for workers compensation benefits?
If you are working for an employer, or have been contracted to perform work in Iowa, and have been injured on the job, you likely qualify for workers compensation benefits. You will also be covered under your employer’s workers comp policy if you are a remote worker whose employer is based in Iowa.
Many people have the misconception that you’ll need to work for a certain number of hours each week or have been employed with your company for a minimum period of time in order to be eligible for workers comp. This simply isn’t the case. From the very first day of your employment, you will be covered under your employer’s workers compensation coverage on their insurance plan.
What do workman’s comp benefits cover in Iowa?
Your Iowa workers compensation benefits will cover a portion of your wages while you are unable to work, as well as the full extent of your medical bills. These might include copays, hospital bills, costs of prescription medications, medical equipment, adjustments to your home to accommodate medical equipment, physical and occupational therapy, and transportation costs to and from your doctor visits.
How much compensation will I receive?
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries and how long you’ll be expected to remain out of work. The most severe injuries will usually qualify for an 80 percent benefit of your pre-injury spendable earnings. This means that you will be able to collect 80 percent of your income after taxes and other payroll deductions.
If I was partially responsible for the work accident, can I still collect workers comp?
Yes, you can! Fault is only relevant when you are seeking compensation in a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. In workers compensation cases, as long as you were injured while performing duties asked of you while on the clock, you can receive workers comp and the liability for the cause of your injuries will not be important to the approval of your claim.
How do I go about applying for workers comp benefits?
Your employer is required to purchase an insurance policy that includes coverage for employees who are injured at work, even while driving. These are known as workers compensation benefits. If you are injured while on the job, you’ll report your work injury to your employer and let them know of your intent to pursue benefits.
They will, in turn, report your claim to their workman’s comp insurance provider, and an insurance adjuster will determine if you qualify and what your weekly benefit should be.
What do I do if my Iowa work comp claim was denied?
If your claim has been denied, it will be within your best interest to get in touch with an Iowa workers comp attorney who can help you file an appeal. Though many disputes can be resolved by addressing the concerns of the insurance carrier, we can move forward with a contested-case proceeding to be held in front of the Workers Compensation Commissioner.
If I apply for workers comp, does that mean I’m suing my employer?
When you apply for workers compensation in Iowa, you are seeking benefits you are entitled to due to an injury you sustained while working for your employer; this is not a lawsuit against your employer. If you were suing your employer, it would be done through filing a personal injury claim—not through the collection of the workers compensation benefits you deserve.
Can I get my Iowa work comp benefits in one lump sum?
There are a few different ways that you can obtain your workers comp benefits, one of which is full commutation: the dispersal of your benefits in one lump sum.
If you choose to do so, you will forfeit your right to future benefits should your condition worsen and require further medical care. Not everyone who requests their benefits in one lump sum will be approved, however. A lump sum is awarded only out of necessity and must be in your best interests.
You can also choose to have your benefits partially commuted, where you’ll be able to obtain a portion of your future benefits but still retain the remainder should you need it. Other types of work comp settlement options include a compromise settlement used during disputes and agreement settlements that predetermine how long you’ll receive benefits for and for how much.
How long can I collect workers comp in Iowa?
You will continue to receive your workers comp checks until you are medically cleared by your treating physician to return to work. If you are permanently disabled, eventually, workers comp will be switched over to disability benefits.
Does workers compensation cover me if I get sick because of work?
Workers compensation coverage will kick in for illnesses that occur due to the conditions of your workplace. If we can demonstrate that you wouldn’t have gotten sick if it weren’t for something you were exposed to at work, you will be able to collect workers comp.
For example, construction workers, who work in a notoriously dangerous industry, are often exposed to asbestos. Repeated exposure can result in a diagnosis of mesothelioma, which will entitle you to workers compensation benefits as an occupational disease.
Does workers comp cover work-related stress?
It should. However, this is one of the more common areas in which you can expect some pushback from your employer. However, if you are suffering from severe amounts of stress and it’s impacting your ability to work, you can apply for workers compensation benefits with help from an Iowa workers comp lawyer. You could be approved once we establish the effects on your life and your ability to continue working.
Can I work while collecting workers compensation in Iowa?
Not usually. The purpose of workman’s comp is to cover a portion of your income so that while you’re in recovery, you are still able to earn a living. If your employer were to offer you a lesser-paying position that you are able to work, you cannot refuse or else you risk your benefits being denied.
Can I get a second job if I collect workers comp?
Your workers compensation benefits are meant to replace a portion of your income while you’re out of work. If you are able to work a second job, the insurance company may determine that you don’t need the benefits approved since you can earn a living while working your second job.
What is an independent medical exam?
An independent medical exam (IME) is an exam conducted by a physician contracted by the insurance company to determine the extent of your work injury and your ability to perform the functions of your job.
This physician will provide a report to the work comp insurance company about your injury or illness, and the insurer will use this opinion to decide whether you should be approved for benefits.
What if my employer did not report my work-related injury?
If your employer did not report your injury to the insurance company, this should not affect your approval for workers comp benefits in Iowa. Employers who do not report injuries to their insurance company almost always do so in order to avoid higher future insurance premiums.
Why is my employer fighting my application for work comp benefits?
There are a few reasons why an employer would try to fight your approval for workers compensation. The most common reason is to avoid paying a higher premium on their work comp insurance policy.
Other reasons could include being disqualified for benefits because you were in violation of the company’s code of conduct at the time of your on-the-job injury, either by fooling around at work or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You can also be denied workers comp if you were committing a crime at the time you were injured.
Will I have to go to court for a workers compensation claim?
It’s possible that your workers compensation attorney in Iowa will have to go to court for your claim. The Pothitakis Law Firm, PC is usually able to avoid going to court by successfully negotiating with the insurance company to secure a reasonable and fair benefit award.
However, in some cases, the insurer refuses to negotiate in good faith and approve your benefits—despite the fact that we have provided clear documentation of your injury and inability to work. In these instances, your attorney will be prepared to bring them to court to ensure that you get the money you are entitled to.
This is not necessarily a bad thing, as having your case heard by the Workers Compensation Commissioner or by a judge means that someone with an impartial opinion about your case—and who has nothing to gain from your approval or denial—will be making the final decision regarding your approval.
What happens when I reach the maximum time allowed to collect workers comp?
Every case is different, and the extent of your injuries will largely determine how long you can collect workers compensation benefits for. There are scheduled injuries and unscheduled injuries. Scheduled injuries refer to an injury that permanently impairs your ability to complete tasks. An unscheduled injury is one that affects your whole body.
There is no set maximum time limit for injuries of this nature. For example, if you were to injure your arm in an accident, you could receive workers comp for a maximum of 250 weeks if you lost 100 percent of your functionality. If you were deemed to have lost only 25 percent of your functionality, you could only collect workers comp for a maximum of 187 weeks.
After you’ve reached this limitation, you will not be able to continue collecting workers comp in Iowa. Depending on the severity of your injury, your benefits will then become disability benefits that you will be able to collect until you have been cleared by your physician to return to work, or indefinitely.
Can I choose my own doctor for a work comp evaluation?
Your employer has the right to choose your medical care as long as the provider treats your condition reasonably. If you are unhappy with the care you receive, you can reach out to your employer or the insurance company and request an alternate healthcare provider. If you are denied your request, you can petition the workers compensation commission for an approval.
What is an impairment rating in work comp?
Following your injury, you will be examined by your physician to determine how functional your injury has left you. They will then issue an impairment rating as to how critical your work injury is and how you’ll be able to perform the duties of your position with the injury.
If you disagree with the impairment rating you’ve been assigned, you can request a second opinion through a physician of your choice at the expense of your employer.
Who pays for my work comp benefits?
Your employer is mandated by law to provide workers compensation coverage through the purchase of an insurance policy. While your employer pays for the premium of the insurance policy, the insurer will in turn pay the employee workers comp benefits.
If your employer is required to carry workers comp coverage, doesn’t, and you are then injured, you will have the opportunity to recover the benefits you’re entitled to through the pursuit of a civil suit. If your employer willingly engages in business without coverage, they can have charges brought against them, as failure to provide coverage is a Class D felony.
Are there different types of disability benefits?
Yes, there are various types of disability benefits your claim will be classified under based on the impairment rating given to you by your treating physician. We have outlined the most commonly seen classifications below:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD)
Your injury will be classified as TTD when your work-related injury is going to keep you out of work for at least three consecutive work days. You’ll start accruing your benefits on the fourth day of being out of work.
You can obtain benefits for the first three days of being out of work as well if you are going to be out of work for more than fourteen consecutive days. These benefits are available to you until you are medically cleared to return to your position.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD)
You will receive TPD benefits if you are going to be returning to work in a lesser-paying position. The three-day waiting period will apply here, as well, and you will receive approximately 66.66 percent of your pre-injury income minus the amount you receive in your lesser-paying position.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD)
PTD benefits are available to those who have sustained a work injury that will prevent them from ever returning to the workforce. You will receive workers comp benefits indefinitely in these situations, or until you are no longer considered to be totally disabled, if ever.
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
In addition to healing period benefits, your injury will be classified as PPD if you have been diagnosed with a permanent disability that will impair your functionality indefinitely. The amount you receive will be dependent upon what part of your body has been affected and your level of impairment.
Healing Period (HP)
You are entitled to benefits during the healing period when your injury is going to result in a permanent disability. You’ll start accruing benefits from the day after the injury occurred until either you are medically able to return to a similar position of similar paygrade or until it is deemed unlikely that your condition is going to improve. At that point, you would begin collecting disability benefits as opposed to workers comp.
Do I need to file for workers compensation within a certain amount of time?
Yes, each step in the application process needs to be completed within a specific period of time. We have detailed these limitations below
Reporting Your Injury to Your Employer
You are required to report or inform your employer of your injury within ninety days of the injury occurring. In cases where repetitive motion injury standards apply or where an illness occurs, you have ninety days from the date of your diagnosis in which to report to your employer.
Your Employer’s Report
Your employer is required to file a “First Report of Injury” to the Workers Compensation Commissioner if and when the employee’s injury is to exceed three days, the employee suffered a permanent disabling injury, or in the event of a death. They must do so within four days of being informed of the injury.
The Two-Year Limitation for Work Comp Claims in Iowa
You have only two years from the date of the injury or when you were diagnosed with a work-related injury to file a claim for workers compensation benefits. If you do not file within two years, your claim for benefits will be denied, making it critical to contact an Iowa workers compensation attorney as soon as possible.
The Three-Year Limitation for Work Comp Claims in Iowa
When you have steadily been receiving workers comp benefits and need additional funds after meeting the maximum threshold, you have three years from the date of your last payment to request additional benefits from the Workers Compensation Commissioner. Should your injury require further medical treatment, these expenses are not under any sort of statute of limitations.
Does workers comp cover job training if I can’t return to my previous position?
If you are able to return to the workforce but will need additional training to move into a new and different position, the Iowa Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS) will provide a weekly stipend of $100 for a period of thirteen weeks so that you may receive job training or education that will help you find gainful employment. The Workers Compensation Commissioner has the authority to authorize an additional thirteen weeks of stipends at his or her discretion.
What if a work injury caused the death of my loved one?
Workers compensation coverage will provide death benefits to the surviving spouse and dependents of the deceased. The spouse will receive benefits until remarriage. If or when remarriage occurs and there are no dependent children, the spouse will receive a lump-sum settlement of two years’ worth of death benefits.
The decedent’s children will receive death benefits until they reach the age of eighteen and become independent, or until the age of twenty-five if they are still dependent on the care of the surviving spouse.
Iowa workers comp will also cover funeral and burial costs, which cannot exceed twelve times of what Iowa’s state average weekly income is.
How long will it take to receive my workman’s compensation benefits?
The Workers Compensation Commissioner encourages insurers to make workers comp benefits payable in a timely manner so that the lives of injured workers are not negatively affected more than they already are by the work accident and injury.
Iowa law states that once the insurer has received notice of the injury along with medical documentation proving the necessity of taking time off work to recover, the claimant should receive a first payment by day eleven following the date of the injury. If you do not receive your benefits by then, you might be entitled to additional interest and penalties paid by the insurance provider, so contact an Iowa work comp lawyer immediately.
Once you start collecting workers comp, you will continue doing so until either you return to work or are given a thirty-day written notice that your benefits are coming to an end and that you’ll need to contact the Workers Compensation Commissioner to file a claim if you hope to continue receiving benefits.
How are my weekly work comp benefits calculated?
The amount that you will receive each week in benefits is calculated according to the average weekly income of the last thirteen weeks you worked.
The Workers Compensation Commissioner will take that amount and examine how it compares to the state’s weekly rate, along with your marital status and how many dependents you have. The commissioner will then determine what your weekly benefit will be. After all is said and done, you can usually expect to receive close to what you did before you were injured on the job.