The Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation recognizes specific levels of benefits available to workers who have suffered an injury on the job or have been diagnosed with a work-related disability.
- Paid medical treatment from an approved provider: Upon suffering your injury or diagnosed illness or disability, you will be entitled to receive 100 percent paid medical care from a doctor or medical provider approved by the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation. You may change doctors only as long as the new doctor has also been approved by the division.
- Death benefits: Payable to surviving family members. Order of priority for payments goes first to a spouse until death or remarriage. If there is no surviving spouse, then payment will go to surviving children under age 18 or up to 25 in the case of a dependent child with a diagnosed disability. If there are no surviving dependent children, the surviving spouse is entitled to receive a lump sum payment equal to two years of the dollar amount of benefits available.
- Temporary total disability (TTD): This is the level that most injured workers qualify for immediately following their workplace accident. It means you are unable to return to work in any capacity. Wage benefits are paid at 66 percent (two-thirds) of your average weekly earnings dating back 52 weeks from the date of the injury or diagnosed disability.
- Permanent total disability (PTD): Your doctor signs off on a medical diagnosis that you will be unable to return to work in any capacity. At this point, you have the option of negotiating a lump sum settlement with the workers’ compensation insurance provider. You may also be eligible to file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and should do so right away. If approved, you will be eligible to start receiving monthly benefits 12 months after your last date of work.
- Temporary partial disability (TPD): You are able to return to work at a reduced capacity while you continue to recover from your injury. If your earnings are reduced during this period, you can claim 66 percent of the loss from your average weekly earnings dating back 52 weeks from the date of your injury. The total number of payments will be determined according to the schedule of disabilities set by the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation Administrative Code (§85.34).
- Permanent partial disability (PPD): You can return to work, but at a reduced capacity because of your partial disability. You are entitled to negotiate a lump sum settlement, typically based on a schedule of disabilities and disfigurement published by the Division of Workers’ Compensation (Administrative Code §85.34).
Negotiating A Settlement For Benefits
The Administrative Code also allows an injured worker to negotiate an agreement for an amount and extent of benefits over and above what the insurance provider offers for any level of disability benefits. This is known as an agreement for settlement (§86.13) or a compromise settlement (§85.35). Depending upon the type of settlement you accept, you may or may not be able to continue medical benefits. These settlements are subject to approval by the workers’ compensation commissioner.
It Is Important To Have An Experienced Iowa Worker Compensation Benefits Lawyer On Your Side
Filing a successful workers’ compensation claim is complicated. Trying to collect and submit the proper reports and records while going through medical treatment can be frustrating, particularly if your initial claim is denied or delayed.
Turn your workers’ compensation claim over to the lawyers at Soper Leddin Law Firm, P.C., in Davenport, Iowa. We have earned a reputation for helping injured and disabled workers get the money they are entitled to for themselves and their families. We offer a free consultation and work on a contingency fee basis. You will pay us nothing if we don’t help you get your claim approved.
Call us toll free at 563-441-1616 or locally at 563-441-1616 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. You can also contact us using our convenient email contact form to arrange a consultation.