You never think it’ll happen to you, but when it does, you need to know your rights. We’ve outlined the most common workers’ comp questions about insurance, benefits, and the forms you’ll need. The following information only reflects the Iowa Workers’ Compensation law. If you live elsewhere, seek out the correct legal information from a trusted resource.
What is workers’ compensation?
Iowa’s workers’ compensation law mandates that most companies provide benefits to employees who get injured in the workplace. Injuries can also include hearing loss and diseases that have been contracted due to poor working conditions.
What is a workers compensation claim?
The claim is the formal paperwork you need to fill out to be able to collect workers’ compensation. It’s best to file the claim as soon as possible after you get injured since the insurance company is more likely to accept the claim and provide you benefits. Benefits are not automatic, but you do need to submit a claim to have a chance at receiving compensation.
What forms do I need to fill out?
When you’re injured on the job, your employer will give you the proper paperwork to fill out. The forms you’ll receive depend on your state, the type of injury or sickness, and who insures your company. You’ll return the forms when you’re finished so your employer can file the claim. You shouldn’t have to worry about a thing!
What does work comp pay?
It depends on your situation. If you need to travel for treatment, you can get reimbursed 53.5 cents per mile, and if you have to leave work for the treatment, you may get repaid those lost wages. If you’re placed on disability, that’s a different story.
On disability, you can get paid up to 80% of your spendable earnings, or the wages you normally receive after tax. There are many different types of disability benefits as well as second injury fund benefits and vocational rehab benefits. Speak to your lawyer to find out which you qualify for.
Who pays for my benefits?
Most companies have workers’ compensation insurance, which means the insurance company will be providing benefits. Sometimes the employers pay for it themselves, but there is never any cost to you.
Can I see my normal doctor for treatment?
It depends. The insurance company may require you to see a doctor within their network, meaning your normal physician may or may not qualify. Check with a claims representative to find out your state’s rules and regulations regarding the subject.
Where’s my workers’ comp check?
We encourage prompt payments on a weekly basis so you don’t have to go through more hardship than you already have. Weekly payments for disability begin on the eleventh day of disability. If you aren’t receiving your payment, make sure your employer’s worker’s comp insurance carrier has received a written report of injury, which usually comes from your employer. They also need medical evidence of the injury before they will distribute payment.
If you do not receive payments on time, you might be entitled to collect interest on late payments. You may also be entitled to penalty benefits if your payment is delayed for an unreasonable amount of time.
When can I return to work?
Whenever you get a medical release from your doctor, you should give it to your employer and return to work. Throughout your recovery process, it’s important to keep in touch with your employer and claim representative so that you know exactly what steps to take. You may be able to return to your original job, but if you have new restrictions, you’ll need work with your employer to determine your new job description.
If you need help sorting through your workers’ comp case or claim, Carpenter Law Firm can help. Give us a call at (515) 244-9907 or use the form on our contact page.