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Frequently asked questions about Iowa workers' compensation

Being injured at work is something that you can't plan for. When it does happen, you might find that you can't make ends meet. Your children and your family might have to pare down their activities and you might have to find ways to save money. This can be a difficult, and sometimes impossible, task. Workers' compensation is something that might help you out because it can provide you with medical care and monetary benefits that can support your family.

How much money will I receive from workers' compensation?

The monetary amount of the award depends on the classification of the injury. There are five different classifications for workers' compensation wage replacement. Four of these would mean that you get 80 percent of your average weekly wage as long as it isn't more than the maximum benefit limit. These four classifications include permanent total disability, temporary total disability, permanent partial disability, and healing period. Temporary permanent disability is associated with benefits that equal to 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage up to the maximum benefit amount.

When will I get payments?

Benefits typically start on the 11th day following the injury, but the benefits usually are effective starting on the fourth day after the accident if you are unable to work for four days following the accident. Prompt reporting is vital after a workplace injury because time limits apply to these cases. You have 90 days to report the injury to your employer. You have two years to file for workers' compensation after the accident occurred.

How long will I get payments?

The exact amount of time you will get wage replacement benefits varies. Your ability to work, the location of the injury, and the classification of the disability all have an impact on the length of the payments. Some injuries, such as amputations, have a maximum number of weeks for which you can get wage replacement benefits. For example, the loss of a leg would give you 220 weeks of benefits, but the loss of an arm would get you 250 weeks of benefits. If your whole body is affected, the maximum weekly benefit length is 500 weeks.

How do I get medical care?

Your employer and the insurance company can choose the medical care that you receive. Of course, they are required to provide reasonable care for injuries that you suffer at work. If you aren't satisfied with the care you are getting, you can go through the process of applying for alternate care.

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