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How Much Time Do You Have? A Guide to Important Iowa Workers’ Compensation Deadlines

Your time to take action and your employer’s time to take action are limited after a work-related injury or illness. You are both bound by the laws of Iowa and must take appropriate actions within the required timeliness or risk facing the consequences. For you, the consequence could be a denial of your valid workers’ compensation claim. For your employer, the consequences could be a fine or legal action.

Dates You Should Know

After the incident that led to your injury or illness, the following timelines apply:

  • You have 90 days to report your injury or illness to your employer. You may make the report as soon as you are hurt. If you are unable to make the report, then someone else may do so for you.
  • Your employer has four days to report your injury or illness to the state. This time frame begins once your employer has notice or should have notice of your injury.
  • You have two years to either begin receiving weekly benefits or to file for arbitration. If you do not receive weekly benefits that you believe you should receive, then you have two years from the date you were injured to file for arbitration to resolve the dispute.
  • You have three years from the date of your last payment of weekly benefits to receive additional payments or to file an action with the workers’ compensation commissioner. The three years begins on the date of the last payment of weekly benefits that you received.

It is your employer’s responsibility to report your illness or injury to the state, as required by the Iowa statutes. There should be no consequence to you if your employer fails to do what is required by law.

However, the other deadlines do apply to you. Failure to comply with the 90-day reporting deadline, the two-year arbitration deadline, or the three-year workers’ compensation commissioner action deadline could result in a denial of fair benefits for you.

Accordingly, it is important to take action quickly and not to wait until any of the deadlines are almost upon you. Instead, take the time know to find out how an Iowa workers’ compensation case works and how you can protect your own recovery of benefits by contacting us for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Iowa workers’ compensation lawyer.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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