Because workers’ compensation in Iowa is a form of insurance, then like any insurance – automobile, home or otherwise – claims can sometimes be held up by misunderstandings or differences of opinion between the claimant and the insurer. Iowa workers’ compensation law takes this possibility into account and has established a procedure through which a benefits claimant can resolve disputes both informally and formally.
If you are having trouble with your workers’ compensation benefits claim, the informal method is simply to communicate with your employer and its insurer about the nature of the problem. Most disputes can be resolved through informal discussions without the need for more formal measures. The state’s Worker’s Compensation Commissioner’s Office also has compliance administrators with whom you can speak to discuss additional informal options that may be available to you.
On the other hand, if these informal discussions do not prove fruitful then it is time to consider the formal dispute resolution process. This can include any of a number of dispute resolution procedures, including mediation. Although the Commissioner’s Office discourages benefit claimants who are having problems from using legal counsel during the informal dispute resolution stage, if you have reached the point where more formal means become necessary it may be to your advantage to secure the assistance of a law firm experienced with helping clients in workers’ compensation matters.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can assist you in understanding all of the dispute resolution options available to you and help you to navigate the process itself.