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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How Much Does Workers' Comp Pay for Lost Wages? Everything One Must Know

Almost all Iowa companies must have workers' compensation insurance. This ensures that employees who are injured at work are compensated for any injuries and lost wages. Benefits are governed by state law, and the Iowa Division of Workers' Compensation administers the payments.


How much does workers' comp pay? It's a question many people have, and there are many factors at play. It's time to learn more about Iowa workers' compensation and where to turn for help if denied after an injury or illness and how a workers compensation law firm in Des Moines can be of assistance.


Reimbursements for Lost Wages

Reimbursements for Lost Wages


If the person's injury results in lost time from work, they can qualify for lost wages benefits. The amount they receive depends on the type of injury and how much money they've earned over the last year. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for more specific such as how much does workers comp pay for back injury?


Typically, employees are entitled to wage replacement workers' compensation when they miss three or more days from work. The temporary total disability benefits will begin on the fourth day they miss. They only get paid back for those first three days they missed if the total time absent is over 14 calendar days.


The amount a person receives is based on the amount of their weekly wages. The benefits are 80 percent of the average weekly wage, which cannot exceed the state's statutory maximum rate. Usually, the average weekly wage is based on the person's average weekly earnings for the 13 calendar weeks before the week they were injured. If the person is paid yearly, an average weekly wage is 1/52 of that.


Generally, the maximum rate is about 200 percent of the state's average weekly wage. Currently, the Iowa state average per week is $843.81.


Employees receive temporary benefits until they return to work, have reached the maximum medical improvement (MMI) from a doctor, or are declared capable of returning to their position (or a similar one) with or without accommodation.


If the person's injury causes disability or impairment where they can return to work but at a lower-paying position or fewer hours, they might be entitled to temporary partial disability benefits. This goes by the two-thirds rule, whereby they are compensated for about two-thirds of the difference between the current and former wage.


As with temporary total disability benefits, employees can only recover the first three days of their temporary partial disability benefits if the restriction will last more than 14 calendar days.


Employees might also receive "healing period" benefits, which are payable while they recuperate from injuries that result in a permanent impairment. The benefits get paid from the first day of that disability until:


  • They can return to work.

  • The doctor declares that they will not make more medical improvements in the coming weeks or years.

  • They are declared to return to a job similar to what they held before the injury.


Likewise, employees might be entitled to compensation for wages and time lost while undergoing medical treatment on a short-term or day-to-day basis. For example, they have to leave work early to get to a doctor's appointment. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also advise on questions like how much does workers comp pay for shoulder surgery?


Reimbursement for Medical Treatment and Other Expenses


Workers' compensation reimburses a person or pays for their reasonably necessary medical care related to the injury. This includes doctor visits, hospital care, physical therapy, prescriptions, rehabilitation, and more. In some cases, necessary transportation expenses are also covered, whether by transportation service, bus, or car, to get to/from the medical provider.


The employer or the workers' comp insurance carrier can choose the medical treatment provider for the employee. If they're unhappy with the level of care offered, they can request alternate care from the insurance carrier or employer if needed.


However, if the request is denied, and the employee and employer cannot work out the issue, they can talk to the workers' compensation commissioner to seek alternate care.


In instances where the workers' comp insurance reimburses the employee for medical care, they might receive it as a lump sum payment after the person is healed or close to full recovery. It's nearly impossible to say what an employee might receive because each case is different.


Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent Disability Benefits


Typically, permanent partial disability benefits are paid when the injury leads to permanent disability. These benefits are calculated based on how the permanent disability impairs the person's ability to work and enjoy life and the degree of the disability itself. This is part of workers' compensation, and there are two main types and two more considerations:


First Type

The first type of PPD workers' compensation applies when someone suffers a disability or loss of a "scheduled member." This means that one body part listed in the Iowa Code of Workers' Compensation tables has been lost. Each part in the schedule gets a fixed compensation amount in the number of weeks paid for the loss of use.


Claimants are awarded the full amount for a total loss of that body part if this applies. Otherwise, they get a percentage of that amount corresponding to the degree of loss. For example, the injured worker would receive 30 percent of the scheduled compensation if they lost 30 percent use of their thumb.


Second Type

There is also the second type of PPD workers' comp, which compensates workers for permanent disabilities affecting the whole body. They often occur to the hip, shoulder, back, or neck. If the person has an unscheduled injury to their whole body, they could qualify for industrial disability benefits. Compensation focuses on calculating the person's loss of access on the job market because of the injury.


Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits

Vocational rehabilitation benefits are also something the person could qualify for. These services help people maintain and get employment after they've suffered a work-related injury. It's considered part of workers' comp.


Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If the work injury or illness will prevent a person from returning to gainful employment of any kind, they could get permanent total disability benefits. They continue for as long as the person is disabled and are paid weekly based on 80 percent of the person's average weekly wage.


Iowa Employees Who Need Workers' Compensation Benefits Get Help from Tom Fowler Law Firm


Iowa workers' compensation is confusing for most people to understand. After being injured, it's wise to contact Tom Fowler Law. The law firm can help one file a workers' compensation claim to receive payment for medical bills, lost wages, and other covered expenses.

Call to get assistance with workers' compensation benefits today!

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