In general, Iowa workers’ compensation law dictates that disability benefits can amount to 80% of an individual’s regular weekly spendable earnings (gross income minus payroll taxes). I say “generally” because there are stipulations and limits to this rule, which we’ll discuss in a moment. As you may know, disability benefits are separate from medical benefits in Iowa work comp law. Medical benefits include full or partial payment of medical expenses, as well as mileage payments for transportation costs. Disability benefits, on the other hand, help you stay afloat while you recover from a work injury by replacing your normal stream of income. While receiving 80% of your regular income may seem like a significant decrease, the difference is often negligible because disability benefits aren’t subject to taxation.
So what are the limits of the 80% rule? Each year, the state of Iowa sets a minimum and maximum amount an individual can receive from workers’ compensation payments. For 2013-14, the maximum weekly rate is $1,543 if your case is classified as Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Temporary Partial Disability (TPD), Healing Period (HP), or death benefits. For those with Permanent Partial Disability (PPD), the maximum is set at $1,419.
Conversely, the minimum for disability benefits this year is $270, which is figured by calculating 35% of the average weekly gross income in Iowa. For TTD and HP cases, the minimum can be lower than $270 if the employee does not make more than $270 on a weekly basis. TPD, PPD, and death benefit cases, however, must adhere to the $270 weekly benefit floor.
While these maximum and minimum amounts set a baseline for Iowa workers’ compensation payments, disability benefits will vary depending on the case. Individuals receiving workers’ comp payments may receive more or less depending on their marital status and tax exemptions. It’s easy to see how this whole system can be confusing and complicated. If you have a question about your disability benefits, please feel free to contact our office any time. We offer free consultation to anyone with a question or concern related to workers’ compensation in Iowa. Make sure you’re getting the benefits you deserve in your time of need – contact us today!
All statistics and figures courtesy of IowaWorkforce.org.