After a workplace injury, victims may wonder, "what are workers' compensation benefits?" Injured workers may be able to recover compensation for medical bills and lost wages through workers' compensation insurance if they sustained a work-related injury. The specific amount of benefits that individuals receive will depend on the nature of the accident, their injuries, and their level of disability.
To help determine what types of benefits work injury victims can receive, the following is a brief guide to each benefit.
Medical Bill Compensation
Through workers' compensation insurance, injured workers can receive payment or reimbursement for all required medical treatment pertaining to the work injury. These expenses may include initial treatment, subsequent doctors' appointments, physical therapy, medication prescriptions, transportation to and from medical providers, and rehabilitation.
Compensation for Lost Wages
Injured employees may be able to receive compensation for lost wages if their injuries required them to take time off from work to recover. This amount will depend on a combination of the severity of the injury and the total amount the employee has earned within the last year.
In what are known as temporary total disability benefits, workers may be able to recover compensation for lost wages if their injuries resulted in three or more missed days of work, with benefits beginning on the fourth day. These benefits account for 80% of the employee's average weekly earnings and won't exceed the maximum rate.
Workers may also recover temporary partial disability benefits if their injury prevents them from returning to a job that pays the same as their previous job. These benefits cover for around two-thirds of the difference between current and former wages.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
In some cases, injured workers may receive permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits if they experience permanent disability because of their injuries. The amount of benefits paid will depend on the extent of the disability and how it affects the worker's ability to work and quality of life.
PPD may cover injuries that lead to disabilities involving body parts classified as “scheduled members” according to Iowa Code section workers' comp disability tables. PPD may also cover permanent disabilities that impact the entire body.
If an injured employee is unsure what kinds of benefits they may be able to recover following a work accident, they can speak with an Iowa workers' compensation attorney to discuss potential compensation for any of these aspects, including medical bills, lost wages, and disability.