Workers’ Compensation FAQ

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Workers’ Comp FAQs

Are you trying to figure out how to deal with an injury you suffered at work? You’re not alone. Many people find the workers’ compensation claims daunting. Fortunately, it’s not one you have to go through alone, because the Iowa workers’ compensation lawyers with Loney & Schueller can help you understand your rights and pursue the benefits you’re entitled to under the law.

This Iowa workers’ comp FAQ page will give you the clear, straightforward answers you need for your most pressing questions about workers’ compensation. Whether it’s your first time filing a claim or you need advice on what to do after a denial, our attorneys are here to help you make informed decisions about your health and your rights. Read on to learn more about your workers’ comp rights in Iowa.

Who Qualifies for Workers’ Comp in Iowa?

Questions about workers’ compensation eligibility are some of the most common we receive at our firm. According to the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation, most part-time and full-time employees qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if the business has more than one employee. That said, certain types of workers do not qualify, including:

  • Sole proprietors
  • Independent contractors
  • Partners and members of limited liability companies (LLCs), unless they purchase an insurance policy that specifically covers them

If you have questions about your employment rights under workers’ comp and whether you qualify for benefits, talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.

What Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Comp in Iowa?

Iowa’s workers’ compensation system covers any injury an employee suffers through the course of their work. The definition of injury includes health conditions caused by work activities, except those that involve normal wear and tear on bodily tissues. Pre-existing conditions are not covered unless the applicant can prove that such a condition was worsened or aggravated by their work.

What Workers’ Comp Benefits Can Injured Workers Receive?

Injured workers in Iowa are entitled to a variety of benefits to support workers injured on the job. Here’s a breakdown of what benefits you could receive if you find yourself in such a situation.

 Medical Benefits

Your employer is responsible for all reasonable and necessary medical treatments required to address your work-related injury. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, medical tests, medications, and even travel expenses for treatment, like mileage reimbursement for using a private car. And if your employer or their insurer disputes your case, a medical provider cannot demand payment from you until the dispute is resolved.

 Disability Benefits

If your work-related injuries prevent you from working or necessitate restricted work or reduced hours, you could be entitled to the following disability benefits:

  • Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If your injury requires you to take more than three days off work, TTD benefits kick in on the fourth day. If you miss more than 14 calendar days, you should get retroactive TTD for the first three days. TTD benefits continue until you can return to work or reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). Reaching MMI means further treatment will not meaningfully improve your condition. These benefits are set at 80 percent of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount under workers’ compensation law in Iowa.
  • Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): If you return to work but earn less due to your injury, TPD benefits can help make up the difference, paying you two-thirds of the difference between your previous and current earnings, again subject to caps.
  • Healing Period (HP): This benefit is for recovery time after an injury that leads to a permanent impairment, with no waiting period before benefits commence.
  • Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If your injury results in permanent impairment, you may receive PPD benefits. The amount of these benefits is based on what part of your body was injured and to what degree it is permanently impaired.
  • Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If you cannot return to any kind of gainful employment due to your injury, PTD benefits provide long-term financial support.

 Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

If you need help returning to work, you might qualify for vocational rehabilitation services, which include retraining and job placement assistance. These benefits can include a weekly payment of $100 for up to 26 weeks while you participate in a qualifying program.

 Death Benefits

If a work-related injury proves fatal, the deceased worker’s dependents may receive death benefits. A surviving spouse can receive benefits for life or until remarriage, and dependent children can receive benefits until they reach age 18 or 25, depending on the case.

What Are the Steps in a Workers’ Comp Claim?

Need to get your claim started? Here’s what you need to know about the key stages in a workers’ comp claim in Iowa:

  • Report Your Injury or Illness: Let your employer know about any work-related injury as soon as you do. This step is crucial because you need to notify them within 90 days of the injury or illness to remain eligible for benefits.
  • Receive a Medical Evaluation: After reporting your injury or illness, seek medical attention. Your employer may choose the healthcare provider unless you require emergency care.
  • File Your Claim: Your employer will file a claim with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. They will include detailed information about the injury and the circumstances surrounding it.
  • Have Your Claim Reviewed: The insurance carrier will review the claim and decide whether to approve or deny it based on the evidence submitted to them.
  • Receive Benefits: If the insurer approves your claim, you will start receiving benefits, which should include medical care and disability benefits, as appropriate.
  • Appeal a Denial: If the insurer denies your claim, you can contact a Workers’ Compensation Compliance Administrator in the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner’s Office to file an appeal. Doing so involves submitting additional evidence to substantiate your claim. Working with a lawyer who has experience handling injury claims in Iowacan improve your chances of receiving the benefits you deserve.
  • Continue to Manage Your Case: Depending on the severity of your injury, your case may require ongoing management, including additional medical assessments and adjustments to benefits as needed.

What Are the Critical Deadlines for an Iowa Workers’ Comp Claim?

You should be aware of certain critical deadlines to make sure you don’t lose your right to benefits. Missing these deadlines can have serious consequences, so it’s essential to keep them in mind:

  • Reporting the Injury: You must report your injury to your employer within 90 daysfrom the date of the incident or from when you first became aware that your injury was related to your work. Failing to do this can result in a denial of your claim.
  • Filing the Claim: After reporting your injury, there’s a two-year statute of limitationsto file a claim for benefits. This period starts from the date of the injury.
  • Still Have Questions? Contact Our Iowa Workers’ Comp Lawyers for Answers

If you have additional questions about anything related to workers’ comp claims in Iowa, the attorneys with Loney & Schueller are ready to listen and answer them for you. Call today or complete our contact form for a free case evaluation.

Get All The Compensation You Deserve. Call Our Attorneys Today.

Contact us online, or call us at 1-515-225-4485 to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Des Moines personal injury attorney. We handle injury cases on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no attorney’s fees unless we are able to recover compensation on your behalf.

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Contact Us for A Free Consultation

Our law office is conveniently located at 50th St. and I-235 in West Des Moines. We have successfully represented thousands of personal injury and Iowa workers’ compensation clients. Call 1-515-225-4485 for a free consultation. You never pay attorneys’ fees until we win and recover for all of your losses either in a favorable settlement or trial verdict.

What Our Clients Say


Randy vigorously negotiated my case and I received a lump sum payment in excess of $200,000. He worked extremely hard for me and made sure I was taken care of. I am more than pleased with the outcome of my case.

Rusty from St. Augustine, Florida

Without Eric’s help and guidance I am not sure where I would be. I thank the person who referred Eric to me every day. I recommend that others use Eric for their workers’ compensation cases.

Terry of Iowa

Sarah also obtained a settlement from homeowner’s the insurance company. I would certainly recommend Sarah to represent you with regard to injuries received due to a dog bite.

Shane of Des Moines, Iowa