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Eligibility for Workers Compensation in Iowa

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2016 | Worker's Compensation

If you are injured at work or you suffer from a work related illness in any state in the country, including Iowa, and you need medical treatment and time to recover at home, you are entitled to receive workers compensation. This covers you for medical costs and loss of earnings while you recover and is paid by your employer. As your employer is required to take out insurance on your behalf the money is available to pay you compensation as long as you are eligible.

Defining Eligibility for Workers Compensation in Iowa

Iowa workers’ compensation law covers workers who are injured at work or fall ill due to working conditions.  Most employees, but not general contractors, are covered by these laws. What you are entitled to will depend on your average weekly payment in wages when the injury took place or the illness was discovered. The extent of your disability may determine the amount you are awarded too. However, whether you have an injury or a disease that you believe was caused by your job, you may have to furnish proof in order to be eligible to receive benefits from workers compensation.

To be eligible:

  • The company or individual which was employing you at the time of the injury or sickness must have insurance that covers workers compensation in Iowa or be legally required to hold such insurance
  • You must have been working for the company or individual when the injury or illness took place
  • Your injury or illness must be work-related.

Your Employer Must Have Workers Compensation Insurance

All employers are required to purchase insurance from a private insurer unless they qualify as a self-insured employer.  The insurer is required by the Iowa Workers Code to pay the benefits. If the employer has not purchased insurance cover you are entitled to file a complaint with the Workers Compensation Commission, or you can take your employer to court.

You Need to be an Employee of the Company

Not everyone who is paid to do a job is necessarily classified as an employee such as an independent contractor. This worker who could be a plumber or a computer technician, for example, does not qualify for workers compensation if injured while undertaking a job on a person’s premises. You need to be on your employer’s payroll and be receiving a regular wage.

The Injury or Illness Has to be Caused at Work

If you were participating in a job related activity when you became injured you should be covered by workers compensation. Additionally, if you contract an illness such as black lung disease which occurs while working in an Iowa coal mine you should be entitled to workers compensation. Put it more simply if you were participating in an activity and it benefited your employer and you became injured or fell sick this is classified as a work related event. Even such conditions as carpal tunnel syndrome which occur due to constant typing may well be entitled to workers compensation.

Eligibility is not Always Easy to Determine, Speak to a Workers Compensation Lawyer:

Despite compensation laws it might be at times difficult to determine your eligibility for workers compensation, for example, if you slipped and fell on a side-walk while collecting your boss’s lunch from a nearby takeaway restaurant. Somebody will be to blame for the accident as you may suffer financially due to that person’s negligence.

If you are having difficulty proving who or what caused your work related injury or sickness you should speak with your physician or talk to Charles L. Smith, an experienced Iowa workers compensation lawyer at the Telpner Peterson Law Firm who will assess your eligibility to claim workers compensation and will fight on your behalf if your employer refuses to pay what you rightfully deserve.

For more information on workers compensation in Iowa, please contact Charles Smith at Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP today at 712-309-3738.