The Iowa Workers’ Compensation law requires most employers to provide wage loss and medical benefits to employees who are injured while working.
In Iowa, an injury may include any health condition caused by work activities other than the normal building up and tearing down of body tissues. Diseases and hearing losses caused by work activities or exposures are also injuries. Preexisting health conditions are not considered injuries unless work aggravates or worsens them.
The employer has the right to choose the medical care and must provide medical care reasonably suited to treat an injury. If a worker is dissatisfied with that care, they should discuss the problem with their employer (or its insurance carrier). The employee can request alternate care, and if an employer (or its carrier) does not allow that care, they may file a petition for alternate medical care before the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.
An employer must pay for all reasonable and necessary medical care required to treat an injury. This includes reasonable and necessary travel expenses for treatment. An employer may also pay temporary total disability, temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability benefits, or permanent total disability benefits. If an employee dies from a work-related injury, their dependents may receive benefits as well.
Unless an employer has notice or knowledge of a worker’s asserted injury within 90 days of its occurrence, the employee may be denied benefits. When an employee reports a work related injury, the employer must file a first report of injury if the employee loses more than three days of work, or sustains permanent injury or death on account of the injury. The employer (or its carrier) must file the first report within four days of notice or knowledge of the alleged injury with the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner.
A worker must receive Iowa weekly workers’ compensation benefits or file an application for arbitration within two years of an alleged injury or benefits may be denied.
The employer must post the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Benefits notice in a prominent place in their business.