• Tom Fowler

How Does Workmans Comp Work in Iowa?

There is never a good time to get injured, and there is a whole list of things to worry about when something does happen. One of the biggest worries for most people is sustaining income when they can’t work. Luckily, workers comp exists to lighten the burden- but how does Workmans comp work in Iowa?


What Is Workers Compensation?

What Is Workers Compensation?


Workers comp (or Workmans comp) is a type of liability insurance taken out by employers that covers wages and medical costs for employees who cannot work due to injury. It is required by law, but the exact allowances and inclusions vary.


Eligibility for Workman's Compensation in Iowa


The State of Iowa requires almost all employers (with the exception of sole proprietors, independent contractors, and family-run farms) to provide workers compensation. Any person who works as an employee under a contract of hire is most likely entitled to some sort of cover.


How Does Workmans Comp Work in Iowa?


Iowa follows a similar system as most states for workers comp. Here are the important specifics that people need to know.


What Benefits are Included?


The benefits provided by Iowa workers comp are split into two categories: medical benefits and disability benefits.


Medical benefits refer to payments for any required medical care or treatment and other expenses related to it. Examples include:


  • Any medical bills incurred for necessary treatments

  • Travel and parking expenses for attending appointments, receiving treatment, or visiting the hospital

  • Lost wages due to inability to work in order to receive treatment


Disability benefits cover any wages lost because a person’s injury stops them from working. The specifics depend on the circumstances- including the person’s income, the extent of the disability, and marital status. Maximum payouts equate to 80% of a person’s spendable after-tax income.


Some types of disability benefits are:


  • Healing Period: The time between an injury and the eventual decision on a person’s status moving forward.

  • Temporary Partial Disability: A person can return to work but not at full earning capacity.

  • Temporary Total Disability: Employee is unable to work at all for a limited time (waiting period of 14 days as long as minimum requirements are met).

  • Permanent Partial Disability: Injury means the person can never work at the same earning capacity again but can return to work- specifics depend on the extent of the injury.

  • Permanent Total Disability: Benefit paid for as long as a person is totally disabled.


Who Pays the Benefits?


Usually, benefits are paid by the employer’s insurance company- assuming they arrange their workers comp benefits through a third-party provider. If they are self-insured, the costs are borne by the employing company directly.


What Injuries are Covered?


The State of Iowa determines ‘injuries’ under a fairly broad spectrum. Most injuries or medical problems warrant workers comp- as long as they can be attributed to the job site. There are some exceptions when a person can be covered for illnesses that occur separately from work, but these are quite rare.


Usually, a pre-existing condition that worsens gradually over time is not covered by Workmans comp- unless the symptoms are rapidly exacerbated by working conditions, leading to debilitating side effects.


Are There Any Specific Requirements?


Iowa workers are required to notify their employer of any injury or illness within 90 days of the incident or onset.


How Much Does Workers Comp Pay in Iowa?


The average workers comp payout in Iowa ranges anywhere from $2000 to $40,000. Iowa has one of the highest maximum weekly benefit allowances of any state- as much as two times the national average.


Every case is unique, so the exact figure is impossible to pinpoint. A Des Moines workers comp lawyer can advise roughly how much to expect in a specific situation.


How Long Does It Last?


In most cases, workers comp stops after two years and is replaced by other long-term disability benefits- but payments can continue for as long as a person is completely unable to work at their previous capacity. Again, it depends heavily on the injury or illness and the circumstances surrounding it.


Contact an Expert in Personal Injury Law for More Information about Your Rights and Workman's Compensation


Workers in Iowa have some of the best workers compensation rights in the US, but it can be complicated to understand. The team at Tom Fowler Law is a leader in personal injury law in Iowa and is ready to help you figure out the best way to proceed. Their legal team can also give legal guidance on other specific matters such as if doctors have to report dog bites and how much does workman's comp pay in Iowa?


Call the team today for more information and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.