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Recovering Weekly Benefits After an Iowa Work Accident

A woman in a wheelchair considers her disability paperwork.

Workers’ compensation cases are not like other types of personal injury claims. Instead of recovering for the actual and reasonably anticipated lost income due to your injury, you will recover weekly benefits based on specific guidelines set forth by Iowa law.

How This Works

Your weekly benefits will depend not only on the amount of time that you are out of work but also on whether your income is classified as permanent or temporary—and as total or partial.

Whether you suffer from permanent total disability or permanent partial disability, you may recover workers’ compensation benefits during your healing period. Healing period benefits begin the day after you are hurt and continue until you return to work, until you are deemed medically able to return to work that is substantially similar to the work you did prior to getting hurt, or until it is determined that you will not make significant medical improvements.

Permanent Total Disability Benefits

If you suffer a permanent and total disability due to a work injury then you may be able to recover weekly benefits for as long as you remain permanently and totally disabled.

Permanent Partial Disability Benefits

If you suffer a permanent partial disability, then your benefits will be based on the degree of your disability. A specific schedule of disabilities is provided by law. For example, if you are partially disabled because you have lost the use of a hand, then you may be able to recover weekly benefits for up to 190 weeks. The exact number of weeks depends on the percentage of loss to your hand. For example, if you suffer 100% loss of your hand, then you may recover benefits for 190 weeks. If you recover 50% loss of your hand, then you may recover benefits for up to 95 weeks. These payments are made in addition to the benefits you recover during the healing period.

Temporary Total Disability Benefits

You become eligible for temporary total disability benefits on the fourth calendar day after your injury. If the total amount of time that you are disabled exceeds fourteen days then you will be able to recover for the first three calendar days also. You are entitled to benefits until you have returned to work or you are medically able to return to your job or to substantially similar employment.

Temporary Partial Disability Benefits

You may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits if, because of your injury, you have to return to work at a job that pays less than what you were making prior to getting hurt. As with temporary total disability benefits, you are eligible for benefits on the fourth calendar day after your injury but you may recover for the first three calendar days if your injury lasts fourteen days or longer. Iowa law allows you to recover two-thirds of the difference between what you made prior to the injury and what you make now.

How Much Are Your Weekly Benefits?

The answer depends on:

  • You average weekly earnings.
  • Your exemptions.
  • The number of days that you are disabled.
  • The type of disability (partial or total, temporary or permanent) that you suffer.
  • The minimum and maximum amounts set forth by law.

To find out what you might recover, please contact our office directly for a free consultation. We would be happy to talk about your rights and about all of the different compensation available to you after a workplace accident.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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