Iowa’s Worker Compensation Laws, In a Nutshell
What Qualifies for a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Iowa?
Any health impairment other than normal wear and tear from performing your job qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits. Certain diseases that can be directly linked to adverse factors in the working environment and incidences of hearing loss may also qualify. Cancer, epilepsy, chemical exposure, and other health issues can also qualify if deemed to be linked to working conditions. Typically, pre-existing medical conditions are not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if your pre-existing condition is aggravated by your work duties, it is covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
What is financially covered in a Workers’ Compensation Settlement in Iowa?
- If you are injured “on the job” it is likely you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits, in general, can cover:
- Medical costs: payment for medically necessary treatment as a result of the injury
- Transportation costs: payment for trips to and from medical appointments etc.
- Lost wages: payment for wages lost during the time you miss from work due to the injury
- Payment for permanent functional loss
- Payment for a permanent reduction in your ability to do certain jobs, known as an industrial disability.
Weekly workers’ compensation benefits can cover up to 80% of the employee’s weekly spendable earnings (which is gross weekly earnings minus payroll taxes). Weekly earnings can be increased if you are married and have dependents.
Disability benefits categories are outlined below:
- Temporary total disability: injury resulting in more than three calendar days of total disability. (the three-day waiting period becomes payable after 14 calendar days of no work.)
- Temporary partial disability: employee returns to work but at a lesser paying job due to their disability, similar time frame as temporary total disability above.
- Healing period: benefit that covers the time from the initial injury until a medical decision is made.
- Permanent partial disability: a disability based on the degree of permanent disability
Scheduled member disability: injury dealing with a specific part of the body based on a pre-determined set of guidelines
- Unscheduled or whole body disability: a more general benefit that is not based on specific pre-determined guidelines but evaluated on a case by case basis.
- Permanent total disability: benefit that is paid out as long as the employee continues to be permanently disabled
Second injury fund: an injury where one body part is disabled and then a second body part becomes disabled.
Who Pays Benefits & Chooses Medical Care?
Employers are required to provide workers’ compensation under the law in the state of Iowa. Employers often provide workers’ compensation through an insurance company unless the employer is self-insured.
Employers choose medical care for workers’ compensation claims, with some exceptions. We have more information on this topic here.
Hire a Qualified Attorney to Work For You
Request your FREE consultation today by calling 515-278-1522. Nick Platt is an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will work hard to make sure you get the benefits you deserve. Read more about Nick Platt here.