Here are 14 answers to some of the most common workers’ compensation questions. The answers below are general answers and may not apply to your particular case. If you would like further information about your particular circumstances and injury, please call the Platt Law Firm for a free consultation.
1. When should you report an injury?
When you experience an injury on the job, it’s important to report it to your manager or employer as soon as possible. Doing so will allow them to start the process of filing a claim with their insurance carrier and the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. If you fail to notify your employer within 90 days of your injury, you may be denied benefits.
2. What types of injuries are covered?
According to the Iowa Workforce Development Division of Workers’ Compensation, an injury is defined as, “any health impairment other than the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues. The health impairment must be a result of employment activities.”
3. Who is eligible to receive benefits?
If you are injured in Iowa or working in Iowa, you are likely eligible to receive benefits from your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If you are working as a contractor or freelancer, you may not be entitled to receive benefits unless you purchase a workers’ compensation insurance plan yourself.
4. When do you start receiving benefits?
You should start receiving benefits as soon as the insurance carrier receives a written report detailing the injury and medical evidence to support your claim. If you believe your benefits are being unfairly delayed or withheld, speak with an attorney. You may be entitled to receive penalty benefits in addition to disability benefits.
5. Who pays for the benefits?
Your employer provides coverage through a third-party insurance carrier, unless they qualify as a self-insurer. In most cases, a third party workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for your medical expenses and benefits. The amount or type of benefits received will depend on the seriousness of your injury.
6. What happens if a claim is denied?
If a work comp claim is denied, you have the right to file a petition with the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner. For assistance doing so, contact an attorney for a consultation.
7. Do you have to share your medical history?
Yes. If you are attempting to file a claim, you will be asked to share your medical history with your employer and/or insurance provider.
8. Can you get medical care anywhere?
No. You must seek treatment at a facility that has been approved by your employer. Failing to do so could prevent you from receiving compensation to cover any medical costs associated with your visit.
9. What types of benefits are available?
There are many different types of benefits available to employees who are injured while on the job in Iowa. To learn more about them, read through this article from our blog.
10. Do you still get benefits even if you get let go from your job?
Yes. You will still receive benefits if your claim is accepted, even if your employer chooses to fire you.
11. What if your employer isn’t cooperating?
The best step to take is to contact an attorney. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the process, communicate with your employer or the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, and take legal action if required.
12. Who oversees disputes?
All workers’ compensation disputes are overseen by the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner, who acts as the head of the Iowa Workforce Development Division of Workers’ Compensation.
13. What happens if the injury was fatal?
If one of your loved ones was fatally injured while performing duties on the job, you may be eligible to receive what is known as death benefits. To learn more about this type of workers’ compensation benefit, read section 4 in this article from our blog.
14. When should you speak with an attorney?
If you have any questions about the process of receiving benefits or your rights as an employee in Iowa, consult with an attorney. The Platt Law Firm offers free consultations for personal injury and workers compensation inquiries, and we will travel to meet with you if you live outside the Des Moines area. Call us locally to set up a meeting at 515-278-1522.