After a work accident, you may find yourself worrying about the workers' compensation settlement time frame. You’re likely focused on your income and ability to support your family. Especially if you are the sole provider, the lack of income until your workers compensation benefits kick in can be scary. Luckily, Iowa’s workers' compensation laws streamline the process. Knowing how long you’ll have to wait can help you plan for this uncovered period. We can help you get started as soon as possible.
What Is Iowa's Workers' Compensation Settlement Time Frame?
The Iowa workers' compensation timeline depends on several factors, including your adherence to the workers' compensation claim time limit and other procedures. In cases when the insurance company approves your claim, you may settle your case within as few as seven to 14 days. Appeals of initial claim denials often take more time. Appeals may go through an informal dispute resolution and, if necessary, a formal workers' compensation hearing before they reach a decision. Often, this extends the time between when you suffered your on-the-job injury and when you will receive a workers' compensation settlement.
Your First Step: Reporting Your Injury
When you’re injured at work, you need to seek medical attention and report your claim as soon as possible. You will likely need to put this request in writing and sign it, which provides a record of when and how you requested your benefits. This will simply list your injuries and note your request for workers' compensation benefits. Reporting your injury within the specified workers' compensation time limits may help improve your chances of approval. Be sure to do this quickly—you will have ninety days, or about three months, to do so, or you could be barred from receiving your benefits. Acting now can save you from trouble as you deal with your on-the-job injuries later on.
Your Employer’s Next Steps
The next step is largely up to your employer. Your company will do most of the communication with its workers' compensation insurer, which allows you to spend your time listening to your workers' compensation doctor and focusing on healing as much as possible. Your employer has an even shorter time limit for workers' compensation claims to the insurance company—four days to file the report for the injury, which the insurer will then handle. The insurance company will study your claim and decide whether your injuries warrant Iowa work comp benefits.
Getting an Approval or Denial
If your claim is approved, your disability benefits should begin quickly. Many people receive their compensation about eleven days after their accident. At this point, your claim is finished. But what if you receive a denial? Fortunately, this is not the end of your claim. You still have some options. First, the insurer should have listed the reason for your denial. Insurance companies are required to include this information, which can show you exactly what is missing from your claim. Second, you have the right to appeal your denial under Iowa's Workers' Compensation Act. If you believe the denial was wrongful, you should move quickly to appeal or, in some cases, take your case to a workers' compensation compliance administrator.
Finding Help for Your Case
If you need help at any point in your Iowa work comp case, Pothitakis Law Firm, PC is here to guide you through your claim. While an understanding of Iowa’s workers' compensation timeline can get you on the right track, you might have further questions about appealing a denial, for instance, or the benefits you should receive. If this is the case, get in touch with us. Give us a call or fill out the online contact form at the bottom of this page.