You are unable to work because of the injury or illness you suffered in a work-related accident. After consulting with your doctors, you believe that you will be able to return to work at some point, but in the meantime, you are left without an income. You need to support yourself, pay your medical bills, and get through this difficult time.
How Iowa Workers’ Compensation Can Help
Iowa workers’ compensation law provides the following benefits for workers who are temporarily unable to work:
- Medical Benefits. Your employer is required to pay for all of the reasonable and necessary medical care that is required because of your work-related illness or injury. Additionally, your employer is required to pay for your reasonable and necessary transportation costs to and from your medical treatments.
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits. Anyone who is out of work for more than three calendar days because of a work-related injury or illness may receive temporary total disability benefits. Your benefits should begin on the fourth calendar day that you are out of work and continue until you return to the work that you were doing before you were hurt or when you return to similar work. If your illness or injury keeps you out of work for more than 14 calendar days, then your temporary total disability benefits will also include compensation for the first three days that you were out of work.
- Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits. Sometimes, you may be able to work after suffering an injury or illness, but you may not be able to return to the same work that you did before you were hurt or sick. In these cases, you may be able to receive vocational rehabilitation benefits of up to $100 a week for 13 weeks if you are actively participating in a vocational program so that you can go back to work when you heal. If you remain in a vocational program beyond 13 weeks, then the workers’ compensation commissioner may extend your vocational rehabilitation benefits for an additional 13 weeks.
Even though you may be legally entitled to these benefits, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may be unwilling to pay out fair benefits unless you fight for them. Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, your employer or your employer’s insurer may try to argue that you aren’t hurt, you are hurt, but you didn’t suffer your injury at work, or that you aren’t an employee. They may use tricky tactics that include taking things out of context from your social media accounts, misconstruing your recorded statements, or using surveillance. It is important to be cautious and to recognize that insurance companies do not represent you or have your best interests in mind when making decisions.
A Workers’ Comp Lawyer Works for You
Workers’ compensation insurers in Iowa know that the experienced lawyers of Hupy and Abraham will fight for our clients’ fair recoveries. This often makes them more willing to do the right thing.
If, however, they fail to provide fair benefits in a timely way, then you may be entitled to additional compensation. Specifically, Iowa law allows injured workers to recover interest on late workers’ compensation payments, and if the benefits were unreasonably late or denied, then you may also receive penalty payments.
The law allows you up to 90 days to report your injury to your employer and two years to begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits or to file for arbitration. However, we do not recommend that you wait that long.
Instead, it is important to notify your employer of your injury or illness as soon as possible and to contact an attorney for a free consultation about your rights. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can begin receiving the workers’ comp benefits that you deserve. Call us or start a live chat with us today to schedule your free case evaluation and to learn more about your potential recovery of workers’ compensation benefits.